Atobe is rather tired of Tezuka brooding, and decides it’s time for another conversation with Fuji to see if the problem is amenable to a swift kick. Romantic Drama With Occasional Porn, I-4

Pairing(s): Tezuka/Atobe

Watching Tezuka Kunimitsu mope was a novel experience. Keigo couldn’t recall ever having seen anything quite like it before. The moodiness wasn’t terribly obvious, of course, Kunimitsu generally wasn’t obvious about anything. But from close up, Keigo definitely noticed a certain distance in his eyes and a wrinkle of brow that was a bit different than usual.

After two weeks of uninterrupted novelty, though, the brooding was getting old. Keigo was perfectly willing to allow that Kunimitsu had a right to be concerned for his friends. But thinking about other people to the exclusion of Keigo himself, when Kunimitsu was with Keigo, was not something he intended to tolerate. Accordingly, when Keigo decided Kunimitsu had been sitting at his desk and staring at team schedules without blinking for just a little too long, he also decided it was time to take action.

Keigo tossed Kunimitsu’s copy of Elective Affinities, which he had been reading in bits and pieces whenever he came over, on the bed and swung to his feet. He stalked across the room and tugged Kunimitsu’s chair away from the desk, swinging it around. Kunimitsu refocused and looked up at him, startled.

“Keigo, what… ?”

Keigo leaned over and kissed him.

Kunimitsu was stiff with surprise for a long moment, before Keigo coaxed his lips to soften and part. Keigo went about the kiss in a thorough and leisurely fashion, tangling his tongue with Kunimitsu’s, nipping gently at his lower lip, and eventually Kunimitsu sighed and his hands lifted to find Keigo’s hips. Keigo smiled against Kunimitsu’s mouth as he let Kunimitsu pull him down to straddle the chair.

“That’s better,” Keigo murmured.

Kunimitsu gave him a dry look. “Feeling neglected?”

“Unforgivably so,” Keigo agreed, easily. “You’re taking far too long to think about something that’s probably very simple.”

“And you know that it’s simple because…?” Kunimitsu asked, mouth tightening a little.

“That is an assumption on my part,” Keigo allowed. “But I’ll bet a case of Dunlop Abzorbers that complication is an assumption on your part. Have you said more then five words to Fuji in the last two weeks?”

“Yes,” Kunimitsu answered, in a very final tone.

Keigo eyed him. “Let me rephrase that. Have you said more than five words about whatever is actually bothering you?”

Kunimitsu’s gaze darted away and then back.

“Thought so,” Keigo said, smiling.

Kunimitsu’s mouth acquired a very stubborn set. “We’re coming into the hardest part of the tournament season. I won’t risk an upset in the team right now.”

And that was that, Keigo knew. Two things Kunimitsu would never compromise: his game and his team. If he had convinced himself that pressing Fuji would be detrimental to the team, there was vanishingly little chance Keigo, or anyone else, could persuade him otherwise. Clearly, then, this was a case where Keigo would have to get involved directly, if he wanted Kunimitsu’s attention back where it belonged.

Wasn’t it a pleasant coincidence that this would also give him some chance of satisfying his curiosity over what had happened to Fuji lately?

Satisfied with his nascent plan of action, Keigo pressed closer against his lover. “Whatever you want, Kunimitsu,” he agreed, as suggestively as possible, in Kunimitsu’s ear.

A soft laugh told him that Kunimitsu consented to the distraction. “Anything?” he asked, a teasing edge in the low voice now.

“Mm. Anything,” Keigo purred, leaning down to Kunimitsu’s mouth again.

Keigo leaned against the wall of Seigaku’s high school campus, tapping his fingers impatiently. Where was Fuji? He was about ready to start pacing when his ear finally caught a familiar voice, light and sardonic.

“…I’m perfectly happy to help, Inui. Provided, of course, that you’re drinking this stuff, too. After all, any good experiment needs a control, yes?”

“Certainly, but, you see, you are the control for this one,” Inui answered, just a bit hastily, as the two emerged from the school grounds.

“About time,” Keigo interrupted, stalking towards them. “Far be it from me to stand in the way of scientific progress, or the possible death of a rival, but we need to talk, Fuji. Come on.” When Fuji failed to follow him, Keigo glanced back, annoyed. “If you don’t hurry up, he’ll be along, too, and then this entire exercise will have been pointless. I don’t intend to go out of my way for you more than once.”

Inui was looking on with raised brows. They twitched up a bit higher when Fuji, after a long, narrow look at Keigo, turned to him and said, “Will it be a problem if we postpone this particular experiment?”

“Not at all,” Inui murmured.

Fuji nodded, and paced forward to join Keigo. “Let’s go, then.”

“If I recall correctly, there’s a halfway decent cafe about ten blocks on,” Keigo noted as they walked.

“That will do, yes.” Fuji’s voice was very even, and Keigo’s lips quirked. Wary, was he? Fair enough; Keigo had a good deal more leverage in this encounter than he had the last time they’d spoken of personal matters. Keigo was honest enough with himself to admit that this was one of the reasons he had gone to the trouble of coming here today.

And, of course, far be it from Keigo to disappoint expectations; as soon as they were ensconced at a table with their drinks he opened up with both barrels.

“So, Mizuki thinks you’re jealous because my presence interferes with your friendship with Tezuka. Is he right?”

Fuji did not, Keigo noted, twitch; instead he became very still. One breath. Two. “Mizuki is perceptive, but also, you must have observed, rather… warped,” Fuji said at last.

“In other words, yes,” Keigo translated, sipping his tea. “Didn’t we have this conversation once already?”

Fuji looked at him with distinct disfavor. Keigo sighed.

“What on earth do you have to be jealous of?” he asked, exasperated. “You have a lover who, unless I’m vastly mistaken, you’re perfectly happy with, you’re still at the same school with Tezuka, which, I should point out, I’m not, and I find it extremely difficult to believe that he’s paying any less attention to any member of his team, let alone you.”

“That’s none of your business,” Fuji told him, tightly.

“Probably not, but it’s troubling Tezuka and he won’t ask if he thinks the answer might disrupt your team.” Keigo caught a flicker in Fuji’s eyes as they turned down to his coffee, and blinked. Had Fuji not realized that was why Kunimitsu kept silent? Keigo would have sworn that Fuji knew Kunimitsu better than that. “What is going on with the two of you?” he asked, puzzled.

“Nothing,” Fuji said, quietly.

Keigo rested his chin in his hands. Fuji was fond of double talk, even when it came to body language, let alone words. Nothing was happening; so, maybe something should be? “Are you saying that Tezuka really is paying less attention to you?”

This time Fuji twitched, though Keigo would have missed it if he hadn’t been watching closely.

“However much he teases about the two of us being similar, I still have a hard time believing I might be replacing you,” he mused. “We’re different things to him, Fuji.”

He realized, later, that he had misjudged just how much what was happening must have been disturbing Fuji, because the one thing Keigo had never expected was that Fuji might actually snap badly enough to say what he did next.

“You wouldn’t think so, of course,” Fuji bit out, eyes narrow and cold. “You’re going to be staying in his world; there’s nothing for him to hold against you.”

Keigo stared, stunned, for a long moment before he heaved a sigh and leaned back, pressing a hand over his eyes. He couldn’t believe Fuji had misread Kunimitsu that badly. No, wait, he could believe it; after all, it wasn’t as though he hadn’t known plenty of intelligent, talented individuals who where, nevertheless, gifted with the people skills of dried seaweed. It was just that he expected this kind of thing from Ryou, not from Fuji. And if this was the root of Fuji’s skittishness, then what he was really worried by must be… Keigo silently recited his choicest German invective. “And here I’d thought you were supposed to have a good brain to go along with the good reflexes.”

“I beg your pardon?” Fuji said, with the mildness of a green and pleasant mountain just before it explodes and rains burning rock all over the landscape. Keigo ignored the hint.

“It happens, all right? It isn’t your fault, it isn’t his fault, it just happens, and it certainly isn’t because he’s angry at you, you idiot!” he snapped.

Fuji blinked at him, temper temporarily derailed. “What happens?” he asked.

Keigo held up one hand and ticked points off on his fingers. “You’re starting to not have as many things to talk about, yes? And he does not, in fact, treat you any less warmly…” he paused to think about that, and amended, “any more harshly, anyway, he’s just not quite there as much, yes? And when you talk about some things, he just doesn’t seem to connect the way you expected him to. Is this ringing any bells?”

Fuji nodded, slowly, as if he thought this might be a trick question. Keigo snorted.

“We’re growing up, Fuji,” he pointed out. “We’re going in different directions. He doesn’t blame you for not staying with tennis, any more than you blame him for his choice to stay. But talking about things only one of you is deeply involved with is different. That’s all.” Keigo lifted his cooling tea for a sip to conceal his expression.

Not fast enough, it seemed.

“You’re speaking from personal experience?” Fuji asked, gaze sharp.

“None of your business,” Keigo answered, brusquely.

It was Fuji’s turn to lean back in his chair. “It is if you don’t want me to think that entire lecture was a self-serving fiction you pulled out of your ear,” he said, coolly.

Keigo glared, and reminded himself never, ever to play poker with Fuji. The man was downright addicted to maneuvering people. “You and Mizuki deserve each other,” he growled.

Fuji smiled at him, if a show of that many teeth could be called a smile.

“Fine, fine,” Keigo said, wearily. “If you insist on being so mannerlessly uncivil to someone trying to do you a favor,” he ignored Fuji’s snort, “yes, it has.” He swirled the dregs of his tea in the cup. “We’re still friends, even if it’s not the same as it used to be. I go to as many of Kabaji’s poetry readings as I can manage, and he comes to as many of my games as he can fit in. We can still have perfectly good talks. It’s just not exactly the same.” He cut himself off, a little annoyed at having said so much, and looked up preparing a barb to distract Fuji.

Fuji was staring at him as if Keigo had been speaking in Arabic. Keigo raised a brow.

“Poetry readings,” Fuji repeated. “Kabaji? Kabaji Munehiro?”

And it was Keigo’s turn for a toothy smile. Fuji was keeping his composure better than most, but disbelief edged his voice and widened his eyes. Ah, it was too bad he didn’t have a camera handy; Kabaji would have laughed.

“Oh, yes,” Keigo confirmed with an airy wave. “His first collection will be published next year. Really, I’m a little surprised you haven’t heard.” He sipped delicately. Cold tea was a small price to pay for the perfect gesture to finish this play.

And now it was time to be going, before Fuji recovered himself.

“Well, I’m delighted we could have this chat,” he said, rising. “I hope it clears things up, and you stop sulking so Tezuka stops moping. I expect I’ll see you at Nationals; until then.”

As he made it to the door, he heard Fuji starting to laugh, behind him. Ah, success. It was a sweet thing.

Keigo expected to see some improvement in Kunimitsu’s mood in reasonably short order. What he did not expect was that Kunimitsu would arrive, unannounced, at the door of his room, a mere two days later.

“Kunimitsu?” he greeted his lover, a bit surprised he had managed to circumvent the staff.

Kunimitsu crossed to the couch before Keigo could rise and knelt, swiftly, catching Keigo’s face between his hands. The kiss that followed muffled any thoughts Keigo might have mustered under the heat of Kunimitsu’s lips smoothing over his, tempting and offering and demanding. Kunimitsu’s hands stroked down Keigo’s chest and around his back, pulling him tighter against Kunimitsu’s body, and Keigo slid bonelessly off the couch to the floor. His quiet moan was swallowed in Kunimitsu’s mouth. Keigo was just starting to wonder whether the door was locked when Kunimitsu drew back and regarded him with a calm expression and laughing eyes.

“What was that about?” Keigo asked, rather breathless.

“Payback,” Kunimitsu informed him, serenely.

“Remind me what for, so I can make a note to do it more often.”

Kunimitsu smiled. “For baiting Fuji badly enough that he gave you an honest answer; for annoying him enough that he was too busy shredding your character to be reserved with me.”

“And then again, perhaps not,” Keigo decided. “He spoke to you about it?”

“Yes.” Kunimitsu sighed a little. “I hadn’t realized he might think…” He pressed his lips together.

Keigo wove his fingers through Kunimitsu’s hair. “For five and some years, now, he’s been close enough to you to guess what you’re thinking without having to ask,” he pointed out. “For all that, though, I’m betting that Fuji’s never been so good with people that he would have recognized what’s happening now until someone thumped him over the head with it.”

Kunimitsu’s mouth curled, and his eyes were distant. “He isn’t, always, no,” he agreed.

“That sounds like the start to a good story,” Keigo suggested.

Kunimitsu returned to the present and gave him a reproving look. “No.”

“You know, it’s very cruel of you to rouse my curiosity like that and then refuse to satisfy it, Kunimitsu,” Keigo told him in an injured tone.

A familiar gleam lit Kunimitsu’s eyes. “Are you really that disappointed?” he asked, one hand sliding down Keigo’s body again.

“That depends,” Keigo gasped as that warm hand closed, firmly, between his legs, “on whether you intend to satisfy anything else.”

Kunimitsu’s tongue traced a slick path up Keigo’s neck. “Yes, I think I do,” he answered, softly.

A low sound rose in Keigo’s throat and he leaned back against the couch as Kunimitsu’s hand kneaded against him. Kunimitsu wasn’t normally the one who pushed things this quickly. But those were definitely Kunimitsu’s fingers undoing Keigo’s pants, and Kunimitsu’s hands urging him back up to the couch, and spreading his knees apart.

And it was very definitely Kunimitsu’s mouth closing on him, hot and wet and slow. Keigo fell back against the cushions, moaning as Kunimitsu sucked, hard, before his mouth gentled again. Kunimitsu’s tongue flirted with him, rubbed back and forth across screaming nerves, and Keigo tangled his fingers in Kunimitsu’s hair again. The silky spring against his hands somehow felt very much like the the touch of Kunimitsu’s mouth sliding down his cock, and Keigo flexed his fingers against that softness to keep himself from thrusting up into the sleek heat of Kunimitsu’s mouth too forcefully.

That compunction frayed as Kunimitsu slid Keigo’s pants a little further down, and strong fingers reached under him, pressing, massaging. Keigo cried out, sharp and yearning, as that touch pushed into him, almost harsh, almost rough without anything to smooth the way. The contrast with the softness of Kunimitsu’s tongue sweeping over him put an edge like a knife on the heavy pleasure building low in Keigo’s stomach and tensing his thighs. He bucked up as Kunimitsu’s lips stroked him, and Kunimitsu’s fingers drove into him again. And again. And again. Keigo spread his legs wider and arched with the tantalizing, electric promise of Kunimitsu’s touch.

And, just as the raking burn of Kunimitsu’s fingers thrusting into him steadied into a deep, open heat, Kunimitsu’s mouth slid down him one more time and hardened, sucking, the stroke of Kunimitsu’s tongue almost rasping. Demanding. Keigo’s body answered, tensed, shuddered as raw sensation surged through him, wringing him so hard he could barely gasp. Over. And over. And over. Until it dropped him back to the cushions, panting, a little dazed.

Slowly Keigo’s senses resumed their normal proportions, and he stared up at the ceiling while a thought formed in the stillness of his mind. Not that Kunimitsu entirely left him in peace to contemplate. Kunimitsu’s hands, tugging Keigo back down to his lap, were insistent, and Keigo leaned against him, smiling, while he caught his breath.

“You know, when you’ve been worrying over something and finally manage to stop, you tend to break out really quite noticeably,” he said, at last. “I think, perhaps, you need better stress management techniques.”

“Are you complaining?” Kunimitsu asked, against Keigo’s shoulder.

“Certainly not. Just mentioning it, in case you want to fine tune things so as to keep that famous composure of yours better.”

“That matters less with you,” Kunimitsu said, without lifting his head.

Probably just as well, because Keigo was fairly sure his entire expression had turned soft, and it still made him just a touch embarrassed when Kunimitsu actually saw how he affected Keigo sometimes. Keigo rested his cheek against Kunimitsu’s hair.

“Are the two of you all right, now?” he asked.

Kunimitsu nodded.

“Good,” Keigo declared, and put a hand under Kunimitsu’s chin to tip his face up to Keigo’s. “Then I think it’s my turn,” he murmured.

He felt Kunimitsu’s lips curve under his, before they parted for him.


Last Modified: Feb 08, 12
Posted: Oct 05, 04
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  1. anruik

    *loves~!* And that’s one helluva nice way to say “thank you” without verbally saying it. XD Its always fun to watch Atobe do what needs to be done to get what he wants later on. *showers with truffles*

  2. written-in-blue


    My love for Atobe is deep and abiding. [purrrrrrs]

    Best Atobe-inna-relationship sum-up ever: Keigo was perfectly willing to allow that Kunimitsu had a right to be concerned for his friends. But thinking about other people to the exclusion of Keigo himself, when Kunimitsu was with Keigo, was not something he intended to tolerate.

    And Inui being hesitant to try one of his own concoctions… mweheheheheheheheh!

    And “Fuji said, with the mildness of a green and pleasant mountain just before it explodes and rains burning rock all over the landscape.” put me into hysterics, and I had to take a good five minutes to calm down. ^____________________^

    And yayyyyyy Kabaji-the-poet! If for no other reason than I love the thought of how flabbergasted that would make everyone else in the tenipuri cast.

    And finally! Goosh! Smoosh! Purr!

    I think I may need to take another break to calm my spastic self down.

    [snuggles] Lovely work, as always.

    1. branchandroot Post author

      *pets* Thank you, my dear!

      I suppose Atobe does have some justification for saying he’s my favorite. ^___^

      Mt. Fuji, yes, which I don’t think is actually volcanic, but I just couldn’t resist.

  3. chinawolf

    *has trouble breathing*

    Wow that was hot. Love this universe and was hoping you’d continue writing in it, but this was more exquisite than anything I anticipated. A very good mixture of awesome character interaction (as usual), all very much IC imho, and very tasty smutty bits. Thank you. *bows deeply*

  4. naanima

    ..meh….guh….WAHHHHHH! LOVE *glomp*

    Tezuka and his moping. I can picture the slight frown, Atobe and his insistence on being noticed, Fuji and his people skills (or lack of), and INUI and his hasty reason for not being the control *giggles* I love! But what I love most is Fuji’s reaction to Kabaji’s poetry reading *giggles* I LOVE!!

    1. branchandroot Post author


      You figure, Kabaji must have a brain in there; I mean Hyoutei is supposed to be academically demanding. I’m tickled by the idea that he’s actually brilliant with words, and just likes to be monosyllabic so he can watch people being their silly selves. *giggles* You know Atobe would go along with it.

      1. naanima

        Well, apparently Kabaji scores high on all of his tests, loves architecture and enjoys building ships in bottles. Yes, the small bits of woods that needs to be inserted into a bottle.

        So, yes. Kabaji is quite intelligent and probably is very Zen-like.

  5. issen4

    after all, it wasn’t as though he hadn’t known plenty of intelligent, talented individuals gifted with the people skills of dried seaweed.

    So true.

    I love this one, and especially Atobe. It’s fun to see him exert himself for once… twice.

  6. ladycrysiana

    Ow. You’ve given me the mental image of Atobe as a relationships counselor, and as much as I love the boy, ow. But yes, loved the fic, very definitely so.

  7. lady-readwolf

    oh, you are so cleverly, talently cruel. ^____^ This was love on top of love on top of, well, they kind of slid off the couch, didn’t they?

    Still… Keigo’s insistence on not being ignored…. Inui and Fuji… Fuji…. Kabaji and Poetry Readings. the idea that Keigo might actually have been close enough to Kabaji to miss his presence enough to go to the boy’s poetry readings…. and Tezuka’s thank you? Whew! [fans self] boy don’t I wish I wasn’t at work right now….

    1. branchandroot Post author

      *sweeping bow*

      …on top of deep pile carpet, I imagine. ^_-

      I’m really kind of liking the idea that’s popped up, of Atobe having the Shishido kind of friend (sniping at each other) and then having the Kabaji kind of friend, who he can actually talk to precisely because he knows Kabaji won’t spill any secrets.

      1. lady-readwolf

        {pokes} don’t forget about Oshitari-type of friends.
        However, I have to say, the assumption that Kabaji won’t spill any secrets seems pretty dead on… He doesn’t really talk to anyone.l

        Mmmm, love making on deep pile carpet? {shivers} carpet still = carpet burns in my mind. lol.

  8. rasinah

    *hyperventilates* Uwaaa, shteamy shtuff!!!
    Love this. I also love the Atobe in here; proves he’s more than a narcissistic diva. And seme!Tezuka is a joy indeed.

    *fans self* Uwaaa, still can’t get over the shteamy heat!

    1. branchandroot Post author

      Thank you very much!

      *coughs* Yeah, Fuji and Mizuki have a history in the Mirror Writing-verse, though Fuji is with Tachibana. *wicked grin* Lots of entanglements.

  9. mica-chan

    I’m so happy!!! I was missing your fics sooo much (because…you know I’m no so into your last pairs). Even though I’m not sooo attached to Tezuka/Atobe, I like them together (specially in Mirror Writing Arc).
    The way Atobe acted…his talk with Fuji…(and made me remember the part when you wrote about Mizuki and Fuji….and it was good to remember ^_^), Tezuka’s answer in the end….everything was perfect.
    And I can say again: I’m so happy!!!!!

    1. branchandroot Post author

      Happy is good!

      I do think Fuji and Mizuki may have another story coming in this ‘verse, but I’m not entirely sure. There’s another definite one for these two, though.

      1. mica-chan

        Yeah…I’d like to see another Mizuki and Fuji, but I confess I have some fear, because Mizuki took the best last time…I don’t want to see Fuji’s revenge!

  10. beckymarie

    I… wow, there’s really so much I want to say and I don’t know if I can, because I’m too much in that floaty, blissful, sated stage. So many good things about this story–the spot-on characterization that made me sparkle like mad, the gorgeous dynamic between Tezuka and Atobe, the fabulous interaction between Fuji and Atobe where neither of them really gave any ground (because they wouldn’t), but still managed to get somewhere anyway, the beautiful, beautiful smut… all of it lovely and wonderful and just… leading up to that sense where I sort of float around the room for awhile until I’m ready to come down. ….which seems like it’ll be for awhile longer yet as this is the second time I’ve read through the fic and I still get that feeling. *floats~*

    1. branchandroot Post author

      *glows* Ah, it always feels good when a story of mine makes someone floaty. ^__^ I have to say, I did have a wonderful time with Fuji and Atobe; they strike such pretty sparks off each other when I make them interact. *wicked giggle*

  11. kateriya

    *incoherently happy* this is exactly the kind of character interaction that i love about this couple, allowing each other to see their inner selves yet still holding on to the pride that is so much a part of them.

    there’s really too little of Tezuka/Atobe/Tezuka fiction that can grasp such characterization. can i, y’know, worship you or something? cookies? chocolate? pocky?

    1. branchandroot Post author

      *beams* Thank you! I do think that’s one of the most fun things about writing these two. They can be so sweet and so independant at the same time. *dotes on muses*

      Chocolate is always welcome. *eyes avariciously*