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21 April 2007 @ 08:09 pm
PoT Fic: Happy Accidents (Atoji, R)  


Atobe was no stranger to getting attention for his choice of attire. Certain unsophisticated people -- i.e. Shishido -- couldn't seem to tell the difference between couture and crap. If Alexander McQueen decided that powder-blue frills were in, who was Atobe to naysay him? Try explaining that to a plebe like Shishido Ryou, though.

However, Atobe usually had the strength of his own convictions to bolster him. Knowing that Jiroh was the one behind the Speedo travesty did nothing whatsoever for Atobe's confidence.

Jiroh had been deemed healthy enough to come out to the pool, although he was under strict instructions not to swim or weary himself. His parents had caught an early flight back home. Apparently his father was only entitled to so many days compassionate leave per year. It was an extraordinary system to Atobe's mind. He knew his own father would never come close to qualifying for anything with the word compassionate in it, but he still took at least five annual vacations.

When Atobe stalked out of the poolhouse -- towel slung around his shoulders, sunglasses perched on his head, and a tiny shiny piece of fabric preserving his modesty -- Ohtori smiled, Oshitari smirked, Mukahi sniggered and Shishido fell off his sun lounger through laughing so much. Jiroh, who was curled up in an easy chair brought down for his express use, took one look at Atobe and sat up straight. His cheeks were a little flushed from sleep and sun and his hair was flattened on one side, but he appeared wide-awake now.

"Shishido, do you require medical assistance?" Atobe looked at the wheezing boy with distaste, while Ohtori tried to shush him with a convenient cocktail.

"Atobe looks awesome!" proclaimed Jiroh. Atobe gave him a weak smile and claimed a sun lounger, trying not to cover himself with his towel in too obvious a manner.

However, his trials were not over. Jiroh scrambled out of his easy chair and snapped the lid off a very familiar bottle. "Turn over, Atobe-kun," he said importantly. "I'll put cream on your back for you."

"Do as the boy says." Oshitari sounded far too amused for his own good. Probably no one would blame Atobe if he killed Oshitari with a beach ball and hid his body in the maze. "You don't want to burn all that pretty skin, do you?"

With a bitten-back snarl, Atobe rolled over. He tried to prepare himself for the onslaught. The last time Jiroh had laid hands on him, it had been completely unexpected. Moreover the whole experience lasted not more than two minutes. From the way Jiroh was settling down comfortably on the side of Atobe's sun lounger, he'd be lucky to get off so easily this time.

He settled down and resigned himself to his fate. This mainly consisted of tensing every muscle possible, something Jiroh found cause to remark upon when he laid his hands on Atobe's shoulder.

"You have loads of tension knots," he scolded. "Relax, Atobe-kun. This won't hurt."

Jiroh dribbled the cream on to Atobe's back, making what felt like a spiral pattern. Then he began to spread it around, his touch firm. He swirled his fingertips into the dips of Atobe's vertebrae and stroked up Atobe's sides. The slightly rough pads made Atobe's muscles melt underneath them. He began to emit soft little sighs that he was barely aware of making, and one by one the other boys drifted away until it was just Atobe and Jiroh by the pool.

"Your skin is very soft," said Jiroh after a while. He was still running his hands lightly up and down Atobe's back, although Atobe didn't think he could be more comprehensively covered in sunscreen unless Jiroh had used a paintbrush and fire fighting hose.

"Mhmm," returned Atobe. He didn't think Jiroh would be interested in a run-down of the treatments, massages, seaweed wraps, mud baths and exfoliations of which he partook every month. Well, actually, he didn't think he could engage his brain sufficiently to produce speech right at that moment, but he liked the other reason better.

Jiroh's fingers were rubbing little circles into the nape of Atobe's neck now. The touch sent shivers down each nerve ending he brushed. Atobe just stopped himself arching up into Jiroh's palms like a greedy cat.

There was slow shift of weight on the lounger. Jiroh's shadow fell across Atobe's face as he turned his head to ask where Jiroh was going. Jiroh wore a sorrowful smile -- the sort of smile people used at funerals and the end of sad movies. His fingertips burned coldly against Atobe's neck.

When Jiroh spoke, his voice was a little strange. "Thank you for indulging me, Atobe-kun. I hope we can still be friends, even though I was foolish."

"Foolish?" Atobe felt a wash of confusion. "How were you foolish?"

"Like this," said Jiroh, and pressed his mouth to the soft skin just above his fingers, where Atobe's ear met his jaw. Atobe gasped, but not from repulsion. Jiroh's lips were tickled like dry leaves.

Atobe stared at Jiroh when he drew away, looking guilty but not remotely repentant. "What -- Jiroh --" I thought you were still angry with me, was what he meant to say. Jiroh got there first.

"That makes an end of it, now." Jiroh's fingers glided along Atobe's cheekbone, up, up and away. "I'm not sorry for liking you, Atobe-kun. But I am sorry for being stupid enough to think you could like me back. Please accept my apology."

"I -- yes, of course, but --"

"Thank you." Jiroh's smile was brighter than the sun, sadder than a weeping statue's. "Atobe is always gracious."

Atobe opened his mouth, but no sound came out. Jiroh stood up and bowed. Then he was walking away, and Atobe wasn't stopping him because he couldn't possibly stand up in this condition, with the stupid Speedos stretched to breaking point.

He dropped his head on to the lounger in defeat. A waft of pineapple rose from where lotion had spilled on the towel. On impulse, Atobe grabbed up the bottle. Garish pineapples in dresses and tap shoes pranced across the label. He stared at them, hoping they would inspire him to find the right words to call Jiroh back before it was too late. But they just went on prancing, looking faintly psychotic.

Atobe was not given to profanity. He thought it was uncultured, both to use the words and to lose control to the extent that their use was necessary. In the rare cases when he'd indulged, it had only been the mildest terms and a single repetition.

But there was a first time for everything.

"Fuck! Fucking fucking fuck!"


__



Everything changed when they went back to school.

Oh, to be fair, the paint job was still hideous, the fan girls remained annoying and tennis club was the same as ever. Loath as he was to admit it, Atobe eventually realised that it was only Jiroh who was different. But it might as well have been everything.

Jiroh was scrupulously polite to Atobe, but he no longer napped on the bench near where Atobe changed. He didn't compliment his hair or his smell or his legs. Most cruelly of all, Atobe was no longer Jiroh's pillow of choice.

Atobe treated himself to a new range of toiletries to cheer himself up. When he got home, he saw that he'd unerringly picked those that were pineapple flavoured, coloured or scented every time.

He wasn't the only one having problems. The events of the holiday had spurred Oshitari to pursue new love interests -- of a female persuasion. Muhaki went around with a face like a wet week for two whole days, before he popped up with a girlfriend of his own and suggested double dating. Mukahi and his girlfriend -- who was a gymnast -- only got chummier, whereas Oshitari went through a string of girls who dumped him after one date. They claimed that his heart wasn't in it. Atobe knew very well that it wasn't, much like any other portion of Oshitari's anatomy. Oshitari grew more and more fed up. Although he should be relishing Oshitari's comeuppance, Atobe soon started to feel a horrible sort of empathy with his plight.

Atobe made sure to set his would-be girlfriend straight on the very first day of school. She fled in tears from their meeting, but Atobe was satisfied that she wouldn't be calling him any time soon. Just in case, he changed his phone number. When he informed Jiroh of the new one -- hoping that it would provoke some or any kind of reaction -- Jiroh just blinked sleepily and said, "But why would I need to call you there, Atobe-kun? I have your mobile number."

It was all very unsatisfactory.

Now that he had no one to double date with, Oshitari was at a loose end. He ended up hanging around with Atobe far more than either of them liked, but there wasn't really another option. Mukahi was Jiroh's best friend, and Jiroh was close to Ohtori as well. They were the people with whom he studied and ate lunch. Shishido wasn't about to abandon his boyfriend for his captain and the team's tensai, who had both told him more than once that he was an hopelessly uncultured boor (Atobe) who probably slept with pigs (Oshitari). Mukahi's free time was tied up in the girl Oshitari dismissed as a 'titless, bumless pipe cleaner.' Privately Atobe thought that the gymnast looked as much like a boy as it was possible to be without actually being one, but he realised Oshitari wouldn't appreciate the comparison.

They sat together watching Titanic for the fifth time. In any case, it was Atobe's fifth time. He didn't like to think how many times Oshitari had seen it. The fact that he could mouth along to all the dialogue -- complete with facial expressions and gestures -- was disturbing enough. Atobe yawned and wondered whether text messaging his driver to pick him up would be construed as impolite or basic self-preservation.

"Did you know that Jiroh is thinking about joining the art club?" asked Oshitari during the drawing scene. They didn't even pretend to be interested in Kate Winslet's breasts anymore.

"What?" Atobe nearly fell out of his beanbag. He blamed Oshitari for providing him with such an uncouth mode of sitting.

"Yeah." Oshitari tugged at his lip. "Apparently he takes art class and one of the boys asked him to join the club. From what Mukahi was saying, this boy may be after more than Jiroh's negligible drawing skills."

"You mean ... he has an ulterior motive?" At Oshitari's cocked eyebrow, Atobe modified it to, "You think they're going out?"

"From what I can tell the guy has a crush on Jiroh." Oshitari smirked. "You can hardly blame him. Jiroh is cute, even if you never wanted to admit it. I'm not sure if Jiroh would be stupid enough to join a club just to please someone, but maybe it's just a pretext for something else -- like a date."

"Oh." Atobe swallowed rapidly, trying to wet his vocal cords enough to produce coherent words. He wanted to say something cool and indifferent, but what came out was, "I never said Jiroh wasn't cute."

Both of Oshitari's eyebrows went up. "Please don't tell me you're saying what I think you're saying. Not now."

"Well, no," said Atobe feebly. "I don't know what you think I'm saying."

"I knew it!" In his excitement, Oshitari sat on the remote. The screen fast-forwarded past the bits with Leonardo's bare chest, which were the unacknowledged highlight of the film for its current audience. "I knew you liked him all the time!"

"Hey, I never admitted that," protested Atobe.

"I know you never admitted it," said Oshitari, his voice laden with tensai-flavoured scorn. "So are you going to ask him out before art-boy does?"

Atobe kicked irritably at the outlying regions of beanbag. "You do leap to the most astonishing conclusions, Oshitari-kun. Am I not allowed to appreciate beauty where I find it, without being assigned all sorts of ridiculous judgements and reasons?"

"Well, no," said Oshitari. "Not where other people are concerned. Give it up, Atobe. You've got the hots for Jiroh and the means to get into his pants. I don't know what the hell you're whining about."

"Are you sure you're really talking about me now?" asked Atobe archly. Oshitari slumped back against his beanbag, looking cross. "I refuse to countenance your ludicrous suggestion. But --" Oshitari glanced up from under his lowering brows "-- I feel it imperative to remind Jiroh of his prior tennis commitments. I can't have him slacking off for finger-painting and cutting shapes out of potatoes."

"It's been a while since you took an art class, I gather." Oshitari sounded amused. Atobe didn't say anything. His father had said that art was not a subject for men. He'd wanted Atobe's nursery school to remove it from the curriculum. Atobe had rather lost his enthusiasm for it after that.

Silence reigned for a whole five seconds until Oshitari -- who was nothing if not more stubborn than a pen of bulls -- asked, "D'you think about him when you jack off?"

"Do you think about Mukahi?" countered Atobe. He'd never, ever admit to Oshitari that the answer to his question was 'oh hell yes.' He'd rather be torn apart by jackals that'd been kept on a starvation diet for two months.

Oshitari subsided. And rewound the DVD to Leonardo's naked chest, without being told.


__



Without ever being able to pinpoint how, Atobe's high-handed request that Jiroh honour his obligations to the tennis club before all other clubs somehow morphed into Atobe going over to Jiroh's house to inspect his drawings.

Not that Atobe minded. Not per se. Not at all, actually. It was just that it hadn't been part of his plan.

It was like old times as Jiroh chattered to him between yawns and investigations of the new stock in the limo's mini-fridge. Atobe pretended a slight annoyance with Jiroh's random conversational gambits, but inside he was simply and truly glad that Jiroh was there. That things seemed to be all right again.

Jiroh's mother had left out a warm plate of American muffins for them. Although Atobe shuddered to think of their calorific content, he felt it would be gauche to refuse. The chocolate did melt deliciously in his mouth.

Jiroh managed to scatter crumbs far and wide. He even got some in his hair, which Atobe thought it his duty to remove. Going about with bits of muffin in one's coiffure was simply not done. Jiroh grinned and thanked him, and somehow Atobe ended up eating another muffin.

Eventually they repaired to Jiroh's room, which was just as warm and welcoming as Atobe remembered. He took a seat on the bed while Jiroh rummaged out his art pads.

The pads were mostly A2 size, and Jiroh's bed was very small. Atobe considered logistics, and came to the inevitable conclusion that he needed to conserve space if he were to properly observe Jiroh's work.

In other words, Jiroh should sit on Atobe's lap.

Atobe was well aware that Oshitari would consider this a low and dirty trick to inveigle his way into Jiroh's 'pants,' although in fact it was nothing of the sort. It was nothing more nor less than an intelligent solution to the dilemma. Atobe wasn't about to sit on the floor, after all.

"I think these are the best ones." Jiroh was biting his lower lip in concentration. His teeth slid across it repeatedly, making it all shiny and wet. "Are you sure you don't mind looking at them, Atobe-kun?"

"I would have said so if I did," he drawled. "Pick up the ones you want to show me and sit on my lap."

"Sure." Jiroh bent over to pick up the pads. The action caused the heavy cloth of Jiroh's school shirt to slip free from his trousers and inch down his back. Atobe would have to make a note to tell Jiroh to tuck in his shirts properly. "Wait, did you just say to sit on your lap?"

"Indeed." Atobe scooted back a little. "This way we will both be able to view the paintings from the same angle, which will be most conducive to appreciating them."

"Oh, okay." Jiroh shrugged. His tie was haphazardly knotted, too. It hung between the points of his collar like a noose. Was this the effect of falling asleep on any available surface? Really, Jiroh needed someone to follow him around and tidy him up between naps.

Not that he didn't look sweet all crumpled like that, because he did. Although as a rule Atobe reserved the word sweet for describing the teeth of people who had nothing better to do than imbibe three days' worth of glucose in one sitting. People like Jiroh.

With a small 'oomph,' Jiroh sat down on Atobe's lap. "Am I too heavy for you, Atobe-kun?"

In truth Jiroh was, a little. But Atobe liked the warm weight on his legs -- and besides, this was the best angle. Like he'd said.

"Don't worry about it, Jiroh," he replied, and reached his arms around Jiroh's waist to steady himself. He kept his hands lightly on Jiroh's bony hips as Jiroh opened the first of the pads and began to talk him through it.

To Atobe's surprise, Jiroh's art wasn't half bad. Atobe doubted he'd be receiving commissions from corporate boardrooms any time soon, but his paintings were more than suitable to display in a family home or school art exhibition.

When he said as much, Jiroh gave him a happy smile. He wriggled around to make sure Atobe saw it. In fact Jiroh wriggled a lot -- when he wasn't resting back against Atobe, his curls tucked under Atobe's chin, to let him see more clearly what Jiroh was talking about.

"Do you really think so?" Jiroh's eyes were wide and liquid, like a baby seal's. "That's awesome!"

"Good." Idly, Atobe flipped over the page. A sheaf of notebook paper fell out. "What's this? Notes from class?"

"Ah, no. Don't look at them --!"

But Atobe was already leaning over Jiroh's shoulder for a closer look. They seemed to be nothing more than rough sketches of a human form. Jiroh was trying to grab them away, which only incited Atobe's interest. Using his longer reach and the arm he had in place around Jiroh's waist, he pinned Jiroh down and held out the pages. The room seemed to grow several degrees hotter as he realised exactly who the drawings were of.

Him.

All Atobe, about twenty in all. Sitting at his desk, relaxing by the pool, laughing, even ...

"Jiroh!" he said in a scandalised tone. "I have no clothes on in this one!"

Jiroh wriggled again as he tried to squirm away. Atobe was having none of it. He pinioned Jiroh closer to his chest and said, "When did you --"

"In the locker rooms," whispered Jiroh. "I never looked on purpose -- well, not often -- but when I woke up, sometimes you'd be ... well. But this was all ages ago," he hastened to add.

"Oh yes?" said Atobe dryly. "Then why is this one dated last week?"

Jiroh hung his head. "Atobe is a good subject, that's all."

Atobe ran his finger along the sleek lines of shank and torso, which Jiroh had captured with just a few swift marks of charcoal. "Well, thank you."

"You aren't mad?"

Atobe chuckled. "I'm flattered. But this still doesn't excuse you from tennis club. I will be personally very annoyed if you miss practices for art club."

"Nah." Jiroh nestled himself into Atobe's chest. "I don't think I'll be joining. Art's fun and all, but tennis is ... well, tennis."

"I see what you mean," said Atobe, who did and was pleased.

He looked for a little longer at the pictures of himself, particularly the studies au naturel. They weren't very graphic, given that there was nothing more than a dark smudge between his legs. Atobe should probably be grateful that Jiroh hadn't looked all that closely. In a few minutes a rhythmic shudder told him that Jiroh had done what he usually did when confronted with a comfortable pillow, and fallen asleep.

Atobe smiled. He couldn't help it. Putting the art pads carefully aside, he wrapped the velvet comforter around Jiroh's knees. He'd curled up like a sea anemone against Atobe, his hands a warm barrier between his cheek and Atobe's shirt. Atobe kept his arms around Jiroh's waist. It would be negligent of him to let Jiroh topple over. If his fingers slipped under the loose hem of Jiroh's shirt to brush against the downy skin there, well, it was natural in the circumstances. It wasn't like Atobe meant to do it.

When he eventually went home, it was the newest nude sketch tucked safely in his schoolbag.


__



Atobe wasn't in the habit of splurging on gifts for his friends when it wasn't birthday time. He was afraid that people would try to curry favour with him in return for expensive presents, like they did with his parents.

In spite of that, he hadn't been able to resist when he saw the green silk shirt in Marc Jacobs. It was a lush, supple fabric that invited the buyer to stroke it. Atobe could picture it wrapped around Akutagawa Jiroh almost too perfectly.

He didn't regret his decision until he was standing outside Jiroh's house with the shirt in a large white box. What on earth would Jiroh's parents think? More importantly, what would Jiroh think? Perhaps his gesture might be taken as casting aspersions on Jiroh's own wardrobe, which suited him down to the ground, even if it wasn't handmade in Italy or France. Perhaps Jiroh would just wonder if Atobe was insane or creepy or both.

He almost changed his mind and bolted, but there was already a shadow behind the glass. He could hear Jiroh calling, "I've got it!"

Despite his efforts to will it away, a fine blush lit up Atobe's face when Jiroh wrenched the door open. He was dressed in pyjamas -- well, it was Saturday -- and had a glass of juice in one hand.

"Atobe-kun!" The greeting was a second too late, but Jiroh's smile was big enough and delighted enough to make up for it. "What on earth are you doing here? We don't have practice today, do we?"

"No." Atobe cleared his throat. "I just came to, ah, visit."

"Really? Cool!" Jiroh appeared to remember his manners. "Won't you please come in?"

"Thank you." Atobe tried to hide the box behind his back, but as it was roughly twice his width this was a little hard to do. Jiroh's bright eyes flicked across it.

"Did you bring a cake, Atobe-kun? You shouldn't have!"

"It's not a cake." Atobe cleared his throat again. He wondered if he were developing a speech impediment. "It's actually a ... gift."

"Oh, right." Jiroh handed Atobe a pair of house slippers. "D'you want to come up to my room? It's only my sister here, and she'll annoy you for ages if we stay down here."

This was just what Atobe had been hoping for, so he immediately agreed and followed Jiroh up the stairs. Jiroh's pyjamas bore the hallmarks of many washings, being so thin they were almost transparent. The drawstring waistband was also giving out, for it slipped down with every step Jiroh took.

"I'll just get changed," said Jiroh, making to grab a pile of clothes from a chair. Atobe, who'd taken a seat on the bed, jumped up so quickly Jiroh might be forgiven for thinking it had suddenly caught fire.

"Wait." Atobe cleared his throat again -- he was calling a linguistic specialist as soon as he got home -- and pushed the box at Jiroh. "I saw this and ... I thought you might like it."

"The gift was for me?" Jiroh beamed. "But why, Atobe? It isn't my birthday or anything."

"Yes, well." Atobe waved a hand, finding he couldn't meet Jiroh's eyes. "You might hate it."

"I wouldn't hate anything Atobe gave me," declared Jiroh. He was already tugging aside the layers of tissue paper. When he saw the silk beneath, he drew in an awed breath. "Atobe. This is too generous."

"At least try it on." Atobe sat down on the bed again. His knees felt rather wobbly. Perhaps he had flu? That would explain the throat problem, too.

"Okay." Jiroh knelt up and pulled his sleeping shirt over his head.

Atobe hadn't meant to look, he hadn't -- he'd just glanced over at Jiroh's voice and now he was stuck staring at all that creamy skin and nipples. Jiroh had nipples. Atobe had been aware of the fact in the same way he knew Jiroh had a liver, but he hadn't really thought about them before. They were light pink, like strawberry ice cream. It would probably be less socially acceptable to lick Jiroh's nipples, though. Not that Atobe wanted to lick his nipples. He was just making a detached observation.

Jiroh stood up and moved over to his mirror, holding the shirt like it was the Body of Christ. Slowly, reverently, he slipped it over his shoulders and hooked the top button through its hole.

Atobe decided to help him. Jiroh was so entranced by the shirt that he'd probably spend the next year buttoning it up.

Jiroh startled when Atobe's hands came around him, but he relaxed as Atobe's deft fingers made short work of the buttons. Jiroh let his hands fall to his sides, stroking over the hem. It fell beautifully, Atobe noted with no little measure of smugness.

"So." Atobe snicked the last button in place and patted it down. "What do you think?"

"It's amazing." Jiroh looked at his reflection. "I look ..."

"You look beautiful." At Jiroh's stunned expression, Atobe hastily added, "Which is what designer clothing can do, provided you have a good base to start with."

As recoveries went, it wasn't much better.

"Thank you," said Jiroh softly. "But I can't possibly keep it."

"Well, I can't wear it. Green is all wrong from my complexion. So if you don't keep it, I'll have to throw it out."

"No!" Jiroh's hands clenched at the cloth, tugging it down. It really did make his skin luminous. "Fine, Atobe. I'll keep it. But I have to repay you somehow!"

Jiroh's yearly allowance probably wouldn't have covered it. "There's really no need. Your pleasure is all the repayment I need."

They stood there for a while longer, Jiroh staring down at the shirt and Atobe staring at Jiroh. To excuse himself, he fiddled with the shirt: tugging the hem straight, pulling at a loose thread, settling it more evenly on Jiroh's shoulders.

"It really doesn't go with my pants," said Jiroh after a while, sounding rueful. Atobe followed his gaze to the washed out pyjamas and couldn't help but laugh.

"I shouldn't worry. If you go out wearing that shirt, no one will look at your trousers." Atobe caught Jiroh's eyes in the mirror, and the deeply thoughtful expression in them startled him. "Well. I must be going."

"Thank you again." Jiroh turned, fluid as air, and wrapped his arms around Atobe's neck. He held Atobe tight, and after a moment Atobe put his hands on Jiroh's waist and hugged back. The skin-warmed silk moved pleasurably under his palms. Atobe couldn't remember the last time he'd been hugged. It had been a long time ago.

And it was certainly worth more than any designer shirt, no matter what anyone else might say.


__



It was Atobe's party, and he was dancing with Jiroh.

This was perfectly acceptable. His mother said the perfect host or hostess should make sure to dance with all the most important guests, to make them feel valued and appreciated. That his mother only danced with beautiful young men two decades her junior was clearly some incomprehensible strategic manoeuvre, but the theory itself was sound.

Of course, it helped that Jiroh was a good dancer. Atobe had taken lessons from a young age and knew as many steps as any Strictly Ballroom fan, but Jiroh had a natural rhythm. He was well able to keep up with Atobe when Atobe started to show off, by copying his moves and embellishing them. Atobe actually found himself breaking a sweat -- and laughing. Both were rare occurrences when tennis was not involved.

Jiroh was wearing his green silk shirt. It moved like liquid under Atobe's fingers, when he had reason to touch Jiroh. Modern dancing wasn't something that called for a lot of hand holding or close contact -- unless you were Mukahi -- but on occasion it was necessary. The shirt was undoubtedly living up to its astronomical price tag, although Atobe was sure it was the way the fabric clung to Jiroh that was drawing admiring glances from all over the ballroom.

"Spin me, Atobe!" shouted Jiroh above the noise. He inserted a small, sweaty paw into Atobe's grip and tugged on it. Atobe relented and lifted Jiroh's hand above his head -- not hard to do, for Atobe had at least five inches on Jiroh. He twirled Jiroh until his curls were flying out in a red-gold halo and he was giggling breathlessly.

Atobe felt perspiration prickle the back of his neck. He was glad he was wearing his white shirt with the silver inserts; it had a tendency to go diaphanous when wet, and thus was the ideal choice for hard partying. Combined with the leather trousers that had taken three maids two hours to mould him into, and the sultry glances from half the females present, Atobe was reasonably certain that he looked devastating.

Jiroh collapsed against him, a stray curl tickling Atobe's neck. "That was fun! Again?"

"I think you need a drink before you lose too much body water." Absent-mindedly, Atobe tucked the curl behind Jiroh's ear. His hand lingered on Jiroh's jaw, where deceptively fine stubble pricked his fingertips.

"Okay," Jiroh began to assent, but his tone turned pleading as a new song came over the loudspeakers. "But I love this song, Atobe-kun. One more dance, please?"

Atobe was a little amused by the way Jiroh was practically begging him for permission. "If you must. But remember to get a drink afterwards." He made to leave the dance floor, but something about Jiroh's face made him stop and ask, "What is it, Jiroh?"

"You have to dance with me." The beginnings of a pout appeared on Jiroh's lips. Atobe was torn between exasperation and affection. "It's no fun if you don't."

"All right," sighed Atobe, even though it wasn't exactly an arduous task. "Just one more, though."

"Yes," said Jiroh -- sounding more gleeful than obedient -- and proceeded to cuddle against Atobe.

"That's not how you dance," protested Atobe. He got his arm out from under Jiroh's and used it to push him back a little. Jiroh felt nice, but he'd probably fall asleep standing up if Atobe let him.

"It is a slow song, Atobe-kun," replied Jiroh. The sparkle had gone from his gaze, leaving behind the habitual sleepiness. On someone else, the half-closed eyes would have looked lustful. But Jiroh could rarely be bothered to open his eyes fully.

"Even so." Atobe placed Jiroh's hand on his own waist and took the other in his own. He didn't think proper waltzing would be quite the thing in the circumstances, but this was certainly more dignified than the sleepwalking shuffle for which Jiroh had been aiming.

Jiroh laid his head against Atobe's shoulder, sighing happily. Atobe rolled his eyes. He knew Jiroh was just trying to fall asleep. Yet he couldn't feel angry with him; his motives were so hopelessly obvious. Jiroh's hand slipped from Atobe's shoulder to his bicep, crumpling the cloth between his fingers as if it were a bit of blanket. In this state, he probably thought that's what it was.

Atobe glanced down at Jiroh's other hand, which he held against his chest. Jiroh was practically sprawled against him in spite of all his efforts to prevent it. Jiroh's wrist was so thin, and so very white under the strobe lights. Atobe was overcome with an urge to lick it -- just a little, to see if the protruding bone was as delicate as it looked, or if he could push it back under Jiroh's skin with his tongue.

At the same time, he realised that all the bumping and grinding that the previous dancing had entailed was having a cumulative effect upon him. He was as hard as a rock, and if Jiroh got any closer he'd discover that fact for himself.

Fortunately, the song was coming to an end. Atobe prised Jiroh's hand off his arm. He'd been gently squeezing it -- obviously, in his state of semi-consciousness, mistaking it for a plushie.

Jiroh looked up at him with a smile playing about his lips, and Atobe caught his breath. Jiroh's mouth looked plump and inviting -- which was ridiculous. He wasn't a fruit. Atobe didn't want to eat him. Delicious just wasn't an adjective one used in relation to other people.

Jiroh didn't look remotely tired. Clearly having a nap on Atobe's shoulder had woken him up.

"Drink, now," managed Atobe. Jiroh nodded and led the way, his hand still in Atobe's clasp.

He didn't let go, but then again, neither did Atobe.


__



"You and Jiroh certainly looked ... close the other night."

Although Atobe couldn't see him, he could hear the smirk in the tensai's voice. It was enough to make him bristle.

"Don't start, Oshitari-kun," he snapped.

"I'm wounded." There was a rustle as Oshitari rolled around on his bed. "After all this time, can't you call me Yuushi?"

"I can, but I won't." Atobe glanced up from rifling through Oshitari's abysmal DVD collection to meet his frown. "Grammar, Yuushi, grammar. Look into it. Do you own anything that isn't sickening?"

"My sister gave me The Ring a few years ago, it should be in there somewhere." Oshitari propped his chin in his hands. "I take it your display at the party is off-limits to discussion, then? Only you looked so sweet together. Or like you were fucking with all your clothes on, one or the other."

"Your crudeness no longer shocks or disappoints me," announced Atobe, even though a flush was rising up his neck. "But actually, that is why I decided to grant you the honour of a visit. Seeing as you have nothing worth watching, I may as well get to the point."

"Do." Oshitari's eyes flashed with amusement, which quickly turned to shock when Atobe said, "I need you to teach me how to kiss."

"What?" Oshitari's jaw dropped. "Don't you know how to kiss already?"

"Of course." Atobe dismissed this. "But even ore-sama does not become accomplished at everything just like that. Practice is required."

"And you want to practice on me? You're not madly in love with me or anything, are you?"

"Hardly. Gakuto has that amply covered." Ignoring Oshitari's vehement denial, Atobe continued, "It's simple: are you willing to oblige me, or are you not?"

"Well, fine," replied Oshitari. "Anything for a ... friend, I suppose. Besides, it's been so long I think I'd make out with a dog if one offered."

"Ore-sama is offended by your disgusting tendencies," said Atobe. "Please refrain from mentioning them further. Or ever again."

"Done. C'mon, then." Oshitari gestured to his bed. Atobe climbed on to the duvet, wrinkling his nose at the crumbs and stains. Oshitari ate in bed. He claimed it was the single flaw in an otherwise peerless personality. Atobe claimed it was clear evidence of his cavemen roots. They'd come to an amicable agreement not to tussle over the issue again after Atobe broke Oshitari's spare pair of glasses and Oshitari wrinkled Atobe's shirt.

"First things first," said Oshitari, when Atobe was as settled as he could be with the lurking threat of crumbs getting into his clothes. "Hands. If you're the one who's starting the kiss, you need to show it by putting your hand on Jiroh's face or shoulder."

"Who says this is for Jiroh?" objected Atobe.

Oshitari just rolled his eyes. "If you're the one getting kissed, putting your hands on Ji -- on the other person's waist is a good option. That way you can move them up or down, you know?"

"No need to draw me a picture." Atobe put his hand on Oshitari's cheek. Oshitari winced.

"Not so hard! Do it gently."

"That was gentle."

"Oh, boy." Oshitari sighed and spent the next five minutes giving Atobe a tutorial in hand positioning. When he felt Atobe had it under control, he went on with, "Now, for the actual kissing. There are heaps of kinds."

He pecked Atobe on the cheek. "That's what you do with your mother." Atobe didn't do that to his mother for fear of messing up her makeup, but he kept quiet. "You can also get away with using that as a goodbye kiss in public, depending on who it is and where you are."

Oshitari pressed his lips swiftly to Atobe's mouth. The sensation was so brief that Atobe could hardly categorise it, but he knew it left him cold. Not like imagining kissing Jiroh did ... although he rarely allowed himself to do that.

"That's a warm-up kiss. Good for seeing if someone really wants to kiss you or not. If they pull away or slap you or pour their drink on your head afterwards, it's a pretty good sign that they're not interested. However, if they do this --" Oshitari kissed Atobe's mouth again, but this time shifted slightly so that his lips rubbed over Atobe's "-- then you're away on a hack."

Atobe felt a slight shiver go through him as Oshitari kissed him like that again, after telling Atobe to do the same to him. He thought of doing this to Jiroh, and it was like a bolt of lightning pierced him. His breath was coming faster when Oshitari drew back.

"Now, there are several ways to go from there," Oshitari droned on. "I prefer to slowly build up to the main event by lots of soft kisses, but some people go straight for the tongues. Seeing as I'm teaching you and my way is better, we'll do it like that."

"You are extremely infuriating," Atobe informed him, in case there should be any doubt on that point.

"You love it." Oshitari grinned wickedly and kissed Atobe breathless with a series of rapid wet kisses. Just when Atobe was getting used to it, Oshitari licked his lower lip. It fell open in surprise and then Oshitari was really kissing him, his tongue thick and heavy in Atobe's mouth.

He expected Oshitari to end the kiss to explain it step-by-step, but as the seconds passed Atobe realised that wasn't going to happen. Plus, Oshitari's hands -- before harmlessly balled on his lap -- were suddenly on Atobe's waist, pushing up his shirt with the clear intention of continuing until Atobe's chest was entirely bared.

Atobe made an affronted noise into Oshitari's mouth, which was returned with a moan. But when Oshitari dropped a hand to Atobe's thigh and began stroking, Atobe had had enough. With a surge of strength he pushed Oshitari off. The tensai flopped back, panting and rosy-cheeked. Atobe was too angry to speak.

"Well," said Oshitari after a small interval. He didn't sound remotely repentant. "Jiroh is one lucky boy."

"Yuu -- Oshitari, this was supposed to be a lesson, not an excuse for you to grope me," complained Atobe.

"That's unfair. I deserve to get something out of it too." Oshitari stuck out his tongue. "Besides, I warned you I was horny."

"Why did you ever break up with Gakuto? You're insufferable without him," sighed Atobe. He was unprepared for the shadow that crossed Oshitari's face at his words.

"Yeah. I know," he said, his voice even rougher than usual.

Feeling somewhat at a loss, Atobe did the only thing he could think of. He put his hand against Oshitari's face, just as Oshitari had taught him, and kissed him.

When Oshitari slipped his tongue in, it was far slower and gentler than the first time. He coaxed Atobe's tongue out, teasing him so carefully that Atobe couldn't help but respond. He curled his hand into Oshitari's shaggy hair, and let Oshitari suck his tongue and begin to massage the skin of his back.

Which was how Mukahi found them when he opened Oshitari's bedroom door five minutes later. His step on the stairs was so light that neither of them had heard him. They both heard Mukahi's cheery greeting of "Hey, Yuushi, I --" and the strangled way it cut off in the middle, though.

Atobe jumped away from Oshitari, but not as far nor as fast as Oshitari jumped away from him. It was just as well; Mukahi was quick, and if it weren't for Oshitari's tensai reflexes and long legs Mukahi would have bolted out the door before anyone could stop him.

"Let me go, Yuushi!" cried Mukahi. Even Atobe could see that his eyes were wet. "You're hurting me!"

"As soon as I've explained." Oshitari's voice was as firm as the grip with which he pinned Mukahi to the wall.

"You don't need to explain." Mukahi kicked, cracking Oshitari's skin and making him wince. "I have eyes. You and him -- I never thought, but --"

Atobe looked up from where he'd been politely inspecting his nails. "No need to strain yourself," he drawled. "He and I aren't."

"I was giving him lessons," said Oshitari, before Mukahi could recover his voice. "Like you did with Jiroh? And for the same reason too, although try getting him to admit it."

Mukahi went limp. "Atobe is trying to seduce Jiroh?"

Oshitari chuckled. "That's hardly necessary at this stage, is it? No, he wants to make sure his technique is perfect for when he finally gets his act together and jumps him."

"I am still here, you know," Atobe pointed out in acid tones.

Oshitari ignored him. "See? There is a valid explanation." He stepped away from Mukahi. "Did I really hurt you?"

"As if you could," scoffed Mukahi. He tossed back his hair. Oshitari tracked the movement hungrily. "Anyway, I just overreacted. I have no right to --"

Atobe was very tired of the way they were pussyfooting around the issue. He also wanted to get Oshitari back for molesting him.

"You have every right," he said loudly, drowning out Mukahi's bumbling attempt at self-preservation. "He's still in love with you, search me if I know why. Maybe it's the hair. And if you think everyone hasn't noticed the way your gymnast has blue hair and glasses and basically looks like a shorter, female version of Yuushi, then, Gakuto --" Atobe paused for dramatic emphasis "-- you have another think coming."

Feeling very self-satisfied, he swept out.

Now for the hard part: Jiroh.


__



Atobe had tried to brush off his attraction to Jiroh as many things: a trick of the light, the effect of drugs his mother had taken while pregnant, a passing infatuation, mistaken identity, a schoolboy crush. It was very tiring, trying to keep up the facade. As soon as he broke down and admitted to himself that yes, he would quite like to pin Jiroh to a bed and remove every article of his clothing until he was naked, writhing and crying out Atobe's name, there was no going back. What Atobe wanted, he needed to have -- which was why he sought Oshitari's help. He doubted Oshitari would approve of Atobe using Jiroh to satisfy his base lusts -- what with Oshitari being a die-hard romantic and all -- but it wasn't like Atobe was in love with Jiroh.

If he was, surely he would have noticed.

He planned an evening of fine wine and seduction of the sort his father had often espoused. It started to go wrong from the very start, when the butler refused to give him the key to the wine cellar. Apparently Otousan had very strict ideas about who should be doing the wining and seducing, and Atobe was not included in their number.

The car that he'd sent over to collect Jiroh arrived far back far earlier than Atobe expected. He was luxuriating in a bath full of pineapple-scented bubbles at the time. His hair was wet and unstyleable when he went down to greet Jiroh. He had no time to do up all the complicated zips and fastenings on his chosen outfit and had to settle for extremely plain Tommy Hilfiger jeans and a red jumper, with no shirt or shoes. It was bad enough that he hadn't been able to find pineapple aftershave -- apparently Hugo Boss didn't carry such a line, which Atobe considered very remiss of them -- without looking so completely unprepared as well.

Atobe had equally had no intention of confessing to Jiroh in the billiards room, of all places. Not when his bedroom was all prepared for this, with brand new black silk sheets, low lighting that Atobe had experimented with for a whole evening to get right, and large bowls of roses to scent the air. But when Jiroh spotted the billiard tables through the door from the main hall he practically exploded with delight. Atobe didn't have the heart to deny him a game.

Billiards was a highly suggestive sport, Atobe decided. All that bending from the waist and intense staring at balls. His feet were cold from the floor tiles and, as he'd instructed the maids to leave him and Jiroh strictly alone, he couldn't call for slippers.

Jiroh straightened up and said, "Are you all right, Atobe-kun? If you're bored I can stop." Concern was etched into his features.

All of Atobe's carefully scripted speeches flew straight out of his head. "Please call me Keigo," he said.

Jiroh stared at him like Atobe had asked him to furnish him with naked pictures of his mother. "Are you sure, At -- Keigo? Is it appropriate?"

"I think so," replied Atobe, fighting down a hysterical giggle. "Um, Jiroh, could you put down that pool cue? I have something to tell you."

"Sure." Jiroh affixed the cue back on its stand and obediently came to stand in front of Atobe. This close, Atobe could see golden five o'clock shadow and a light dusting of pimples under Jiroh's ear. His curls were a little frizzy, like he'd been out in the rain -- which, given the weather, was entirely possible.

"I'm not gay," began Atobe. "And I'm not in love with you or anything. I expect that I will be married by the age of twenty-five, when my father retires and hands over the reigns of the company to me. However, I find that I ..." He swallowed. He'd looked up so many novels and plays in reference, taken notes during so many of Oshitari's films, and yet he could not remember one word. "I like you. As more than a friend, as ..."

He was interrupted by a husky chuckle from Jiroh. When he looked down, Jiroh was smirking. Atobe had before never seen an expression like that on Jiroh's face, and it knocked him for six.

"Well, finally." Jiroh gave an exaggerated sigh and blew his hair out of his eyes. "I didn't know what I was going to have to resort to next to get the message through your thick skull. I thought a strip-tease would have been a bit obvious, but with you I never can tell."

"Strip-tease?" Atobe's brain got stuck on the image that conjured.

Jiroh planted a small hand on the middle of Atobe's chest and tugged him down. Before Atobe could quite process it, Jiroh's mouth had closed over his.

It was nothing like kissing Oshitari or the drunken girl. For one thing, Atobe could feel the heat from Jiroh's lips flooding his entire body. Jiroh's hands snaked around his waist and held him close as Jiroh rose on tiptoe and deepened the kiss.

His lips clung to Atobe's for a second longer before Jiroh drew back. He leaned away from Atobe so that he could look up into his face.

"Wow," croaked Atobe. He'd never felt less self-possessed in his life.

"Mmm," returned Jiroh, rolling his hips against Atobe's. Atobe gasped to feel Jiroh hard against his thigh. "That was definitely worth waiting for."

Atobe lifted one trembling hand to cup Jiroh's face. Jiroh contentedly rubbed his cheek against it. "You smell of pineapples, Keigo."

"I --" Atobe felt himself begin to blush as he saw that Jiroh was smirking again.

"So you even picked up on that hint. You do denial as perfectly as everything else." Jiroh's hands slipped down, his fingers caressing the curve of Atobe's ass in a way that managed to be both tender and teasing.

Atobe gasped again and tensed. Jiroh only squeezed harder. "Let's get two things perfectly clear, though, Keigo. One: you are gay -- you're as gay as the day is long." He rocked against Atobe, and his hands held Atobe tight as his erection pressed into Jiroh's soft belly. This effectively stifled the refutation that Atobe was on the point of making. "Two: you're probably as much in love with me as I am with you."

He stretched up then and kissed Atobe again, his tongue stroking Atobe's lips until they opened in a sigh and it curled inside. Atobe felt his knees begin to weaken. Jiroh's skilful tongue licked and sucked, and Jiroh's hands slid into the back of Atobe's jeans, and their shirts rode up, creating heady skin-on-skin friction.

"Jiroh ..." moaned Atobe. His jaw was aching, his legs were trembling, his cock was throbbing and he was afraid he was going to come in his jeans. Literally in his jeans -- he hadn't had time to don boxers either.

"Yes?" Jiroh laid a trail of open-mouthed kisses along Atobe's jaw. "D'you want to go to your bedroom? I want you naked. Not that I mind if you're naked here, though." He gently kneaded the bulge in Atobe's jeans. "And I can't wait to see this up close. All those peeks when I was pretending to be asleep just didn't cut it."

That cut through the fog of Atobe's arousal. "Pretending? How long have you been ..."

Fingers found his nipple through his shirt and pinched. Atobe choked, and Jiroh soothed it with a softer caress. "Years, I guess," he said thoughtfully. "At first I thought all the compliments would give you a hint, but you get too many of them already. Plus, you're terribly vain." He silenced Atobe with a swift kiss on the mouth. "I tried sleeping on your lap, but even with my face in your crotch you didn't get it. Arousing your jealousy, reverse psychology, naked portraits, suggestive dancing, accidentally smashing my head in ... good thing I love you, really. I was beginning to despair of the whole effort."

Atobe stared into Jiroh's eyes, which were brimming with mischief and unfettered desire. "You were seducing me?" he said, his tone faintly accusatory.

"Yeah," said Jiroh. "Did it work?"

Atobe regained a little of his poise. "Kiss me again," he said haughtily, "and I'll tell you."

"Deal." Jiroh smiled and dropped to his knees before Atobe. He tore down the zipper of Atobe's jeans and crumpled the stiff material down to his knees. "You go commando? Another fantasy fulfilled ..."

"Jiroh?" Atobe couldn't keep a quaver out of his voice as Jiroh eyed his stiff cock with a predatory gleam. "What about that kiss?"

"Hey," laughed Jiroh, "you didn't say where."


__



Atobe was still something of a prude.

He refused to answer Oshitari's questions about how he and Jiroh ever got anywhere when one half of the equation was almost always asleep. Atobe wouldn't even divulge how adorable he thought Jiroh was with flushed cheeks and long eyelashes fluttering sleepily, not to mention how amazing that looked when Jiroh was poised to give him a blowjob.

Mukahi got no joy when he wanted to know who was bigger; Atobe thought it was a terribly crude question. Jiroh was three millimetres longer, but Atobe was thicker. Atobe had noticed this when they lay side by side and slowly rubbed against each other, their breathing harsh and their skin beaded with sweat.

He didn't particularly enjoy walking in on Ohtori with his hand down Shishido's pants for the forty millionth time. But he quite liked it when Jiroh cornered him in the locker room, yanked down his shorts and brought him off in a few hard jerks, whispering all sorts of dirty things in Atobe's ear while he squeezed and tugged.

Jiroh would never earn Atobe's approval for the way he leaped about on court, showing off his lovely toned belly to all and sundry. At the same time Atobe loved to touch it himself, when he had Jiroh in his bed and hard from Atobe merely rubbing his skin in slow circles. He could keep Jiroh on the edge until he was wailing, arching helplessly to bring his cock into contact with Atobe's teasing fingers.

All in all, however, Atobe felt that he was now far more prepared for another party at Ohtori's house. He even felt confident enough to volunteer for a Truth ...

... until Oshtiari leaned forward, one arm around Mukahi's shoulder and a thoroughly wicked expression on his face, and said: "So, Atobe. Which one of you tops?"



end
 
 
Current Location: studyville USA
Current Mood: embarrassedembarrassed
Current Music: New Shoes (Paolo Nutini)
 
 
 
Kim: Whee!kimby77 on April 21st, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
Oh my gosh, I LOVED that.

Jiroh had nipples. Atobe had been aware of the fact in the same way he knew Jiroh had a liver, but he hadn't really thought about them before.

This line, I don't know why, just killed me.

And omg the ending was priceless!

*memories*

:D
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on April 22nd, 2007 07:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks, and apologies again for the delay! ♥
(no subject) - kimby77 on April 22nd, 2007 08:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
karadin on April 21st, 2007 08:59 pm (UTC)
What a brilliant story, so in character, and so surprising, thanks for posting.
Reccing now!
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on April 22nd, 2007 07:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks, glad you enjoyed!
Serenia: Atobe princeserenia on April 21st, 2007 11:36 pm (UTC)
I love this story! Did you post this chapter before, though? It seems familiar. I re-read it all anyway. ♥
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on April 22nd, 2007 07:07 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that was my santa_smex, lol. The link to the original site was down and people were looking for it, so I did what I should have done back in January and posted it here! :D
LOL, SCONE: slide away wrestlingrolling_scone on April 22nd, 2007 07:55 pm (UTC)
"His parents had caught an early flight back home. Apparently his father was only entitled to so many days compassionate leave per year. It was an extraordinary system to Atobe's mind. He knew his own father would never come close to qualifying for anything with the word compassionate in it, but he still took at least five annual vacations."

...♥Atobe♥

*memories* :3
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on May 3rd, 2007 02:24 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I feel really sorry for him ... not. :P Thanks for reading!
innocentuke on May 24th, 2007 08:27 pm (UTC)
you know, ive read this fic a while ago and i loved it!
today i spent like.. two hours on internet just to find it again
Thanks so much to google! T_T
and for you, you had written the best jirou/atobe fic ever *worships*
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on May 28th, 2007 07:13 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it, although I'm sorry it was so difficult to find. Probably because I was lazy in reposting it after santa_smex finished. My bad.
ataraxistence: Ritsukaataraxistence on June 11th, 2007 03:33 pm (UTC)
Mmmmmm. Was looking through the santa_smex archives, and found this, and boy am I glad I did. *grins* I'm smiling like a lunatic right now, all thanks to your characterization of both Atobe and Jirou. I love the insider's look into Atobe's thought processes and how he's not always the self-possessed haughty ore-sama he'd like us to believe he is, and Jirou's efforts at seduction are just pure adorable in a Jirou way. And the ending, of course, is delicious. *grins* Atobe/Jirou = my fluff OTP. They're just so unbearably cute together. *loves*

Thank you for writing this!
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on June 11th, 2007 06:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I had a lot of fun writing this; it was one of those stories that just wrote itself, being my second attempt at this particular challenge. And I don't believe for a minute that Atobe's as self-possessed as he seems. I'm glad you enjoyed!
Cassandra: tenipuri; atoji; sharingtokyocentricity on June 24th, 2007 01:00 am (UTC)
gsjklyasdgjklasdfhgjk;hjklgjasdlfgjkasd;fjise;tdgajlg

GOD. I'm giggling so much right now. I don't normally read anything over 5K, but I think I got lucky this time, because there was no word count, and if there had been, I'd have passed it by. (I disclaim: if there was one, I missed it.)

Admittedly, Atobe's not altogether the way I like my Atobe, but he was absolutely a breath of fresh air compared to most of what's written. And Jirou. Jirou. He was positively fucking amazing. I can't possibly explain how much I djskfhjkdl;asf LOVED THIS.

♥ Fucking fantastic; your writing style is class A, and characterization was refreshing and not off the mark.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Pretty facescoradh on June 24th, 2007 07:56 pm (UTC)
I don't normally read anything over 5K

Actually, neither would I (unless pixxers or reposoir wrote it). Must be an idiosyncracy of this fandom - in HP fandom, anything under ten k words is not worth of attention. :D I didn't put a wordcount, mainly because I couldn't remember it - 19,000 words? Maybe? I agree, it sounds a bit too much.

As I was writing from Atobe's POV, more than a little of me got into his characterisation. You should see what I did with Yukimura. >.> I'm glad you liked Jiroh, though! ♥
(Deleted comment)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: So ... yeahscoradh on June 24th, 2007 08:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you! ♥
Andi: AtoJi - <3enko_chan on June 24th, 2007 02:20 am (UTC)
Beautifully written. Very in character. One of the best... or perhaps even the best AtoJi fic I've ever read.

*grins*

I laughed in some parts and cried in others. It greatly moved me, emotionally.

The end definitely had me laughing.

Oshitari teaching Atobe how to kiss was very amusing.

But most of all... I loved Jirou. Who seems to be the very same Jirou I play in RPs. And the very same Jirou that bugs me constantly in my mind.

The Jirou in me also loves your Atobe a lot. Now if only I could marry someone like him.

Haha. The point is... I absolutely loved this. And I feel the need to print it off to keep with me at all times.

Well done.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Blue haired boy w/ phonescoradh on June 24th, 2007 08:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad it didn't come off too hackneyed. Just after I wrote it someone scathingly referred to Eiji's propensity to develop cancer that can be magically cured by Oishi/tennis/both, and was worried Jiroh's fall would be seen as more of the same.

I wouldn't mind marrying Atobe and having my own private helicopter. Although if they're as difficult to drive as a car, maybe not.

Glad, glad you liked!
Tifa: Ilovehyouteitifarette on June 24th, 2007 03:38 am (UTC)
Holy crap, I actually flailed. And I don't flail over fics. <3 Your Jirou even managed not to annoy me much, as pretty much every fanfic Jirou tends to do. ...I can't even think of an emote to use right now. I think ^_^ comes close.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Mobscoradh on June 24th, 2007 08:19 pm (UTC)
I like ^_^ - it reminds me of kittens, and that can never be a bad thing. And I'm delighted you enjoyed it that much!
Sarah: Loff Ur05km on June 24th, 2007 02:31 pm (UTC)
brilliant- brilliant and just about as faaaaaaabulous as Mizuki's wardrobe. *favourites*
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Jirohscoradh on June 24th, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC)
Fantastic compliment, I thank you. PS - love the icon. :DD Atobe's face!
(Deleted comment)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Nanjiroh: youngscoradh on June 25th, 2007 08:27 pm (UTC)
I must say I love your icon at least as much as you liked this. :D Atobe to a T ...
Ketchupketchupblood on June 28th, 2007 12:20 am (UTC)
So. Perfectly. Beautifully. Perfect.

-speechless- Wow... just wow. This was amazingly done and... Wow.

Just assume I loved everything; because I did.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Comic stripscoradh on June 28th, 2007 09:38 pm (UTC)
I am very glad to hear it! ♥
iff_u_loved_meiff_u_loved_me on July 10th, 2007 03:22 am (UTC)
I loved this fic so much, it was really enjoyable and believable as well. You showed that reationships/seductions take time, which is really true. I love your Jiroh and Atobe- and I agree with Jiroh- Atobe does denial perfectly...so who does top anyway?
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Shinji&Kamio: Tachibana-san!!scoradh on July 10th, 2007 06:21 pm (UTC)
Hee, I'd say Jiroh, but I purposely left it open so the reader can interpret as they please!
Aret: OshiGakublufox_o7 on July 15th, 2007 05:54 pm (UTC)
I knew it. Yuushi simply cant live w/o Gak-kun. Well I know I can't. :)