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Process of Elimination

Title: Process of Elimination
Genre: Romance, Fluff
Fandom: Prince of Tennis
Pairing: Oshitari/Atobe - various implied possible pairings for Atobe
Rating: T
Disclaimers: I do not own these boys! Konomi-sensei has first dibs on whatever he wants them to do with/to each other (which, sadly, does not include them getting it on). They did not make me richer, so don't sue.
Summary: A collection of related drabbles/ficlets wherein you have an insecure Oshitari and an Atobe shooting down some of the more popular Atobe+??? pairings.
Author's Notes: Written for [info]pinksnow1986 to whom we (my muse and I) owe a HUGE debt of gratitude. Thank you for being the best beta reader a fic writer could have. And thank you for being one of the best friends a girl could have. Also written for [info]darkmage009 because she just plain wanted more OshiAto from me (though it boggles the mind why she'd want it from me).

Process of Elimination
            It’s not a well-known fact that Tezuka and I go back a long way – we’ve been competing against each other in Primary level tournaments ever since we were old enough to grip a racket properly.
            When Yuushi stumbled upon this little trivia, he commented about how he’s surprised that the stolid Seigaku team captain and I didn’t end up together. I slyly asked him if the fact that Tezuka and I had a “history” threatened him. His disdainful snort was a clear answer in the negative, but the burning intensity in his gaze gave away his insecurity.
            I gave Yuushi my most reassuring smile. “Tezuka and I, we are as the sun and moon; we cannot share the same sky unless it is to eclipse the other.”
            It is on rainy days like these that I am drawn to think of days that have passed. On this particular rainy day, my mind is drawn to the memories of silky soft strawberry blond hair, of lips perpetually tinged with the taste of whipped cream, of sleepy amber eyes that once made me see the impossible simplicity of what was then a complex reality.
            We were young. Brash. We thought that time would stand still for us. We thought that ‘change’ was something that applied to everything – everything but our feelings.
            We were idiots.
            We changed. What we felt changed. But I’m glad that it happened. I’m glad that WE happened. Because on rainy days like these, I have something to fondly look back on.
            “Strawberries and cream,” a smooth, deep baritone interrupted my thoughts.
            “Huh?” I ask the owner of the pair of arms currently wrapping themselves around me.
            “You were thinking of strawberries and cream,” he answers, voice mildly accusing.
            I hum contentedly in the circle of his warmth. “I was just remembering how that used to be my favorite flavor back in middle school. But my tastes have changed… so have his. I heard that he’s happy with the apple bubblegum that he’s had for the past 3 years.”
            I feel, more than hear, the chuckle from his chest. “And you?”
            I give a naughty little laugh before reaching around him to squeeze his buns, “I’ll never grow tired of blueberry muffins.”
Coffee Shop
            I met Sanada quite by accident when I was on my way to the café to meet with Yuushi. I knew I was an hour early for our meeting, so I thought nothing of it when I invited Sanada for a cup of coffee while I waited for Yuushi.
            An hour later, Yuushi came in and Sanada politely bade us goodbye. I watched the latter walk away with a faint smile on my lips. The man still walked as though he had an entire tennis team watching his every move.
            I turned back to my companion only to find him looking at me with a question in his eyes.
            “No,” I answered, shaking my head at him.
            At my answer, he raised a silent, disbelieving brow at me.
            “Good God, no!” I repeated emphatically with an incredulous laugh. “Could you imagine what Yukimura would do to me if I even dared to think about what you’re implying?” I suppressed a shudder at the thought.
            Only then did I finally get a smile of greeting with genuine warmth from my date.
Mind Reading
            We were both comfortably sprawled in front of the TV, intently watching the Roland Garros1 – or at least, I was watching the match; Yuushi’s eyes were trained on that one specific player instead of the match itself. I doubted he even knew what the score was anymore.
            “Game and match won by Ryoma Echizen!” The sports announcer excitedly proclaimed. Well, that’s two matches down. The five-set matches in the French open are real killers, and I was sure Echizen’s up for it… but I wasn’t so sure about my fellow spectator. I glanced over to my right to see Yuushi all tense, with his hands curled into tight fists.
            Echizen Ryoma turned out to be a magnificent young man. And standing on those international tennis courts, he looked to be a creature that was glorious beyond words. I didn’t need to ask what was bothering Yuushi.
            I reached over to touch his hand, “Yuushi, if I wanted to have a child, I’d father one—not go into a relationship with one.”
            “What about Fuji Syuusuke?” Yuushi suddenly asked.
            “What about him?” I asked right back. He frowned at me because he knew that I knew exactly what he was asking.
            I tried to picture it in my head and grimaced. “No,” I answered resolutely. “One tennis tensai is more than enough for me.”
            Sated and at ease in the warm circle of his embrace, I mulled over his question in my head. As we were on our way home from the office the day before, Yuushi pointed out that I could have anybody I wanted – anyone at all. If that was the case, what was I doing with somebody like him?
            I always knew that Yuushi had a bit of a jealous streak. I also knew that he saw potential rivals in everybody who’s had even the littlest bit of history with me: Tezuka, Tachibana, Sanada, Fuji, Echizen, Kamio, Jirou… the rest of the former Hyotei Gakuen tennis team regulars… But even though it was there, simmering just beneath the surface, he’s never said anything about it before.
            Oh, he’d throw out random comments and questions here and there, but always, ALWAYS coated with a layer of nonchalance—as though he really didn’t care one way or the other if I said that yes, I had a thing for this other person. His pride would never let him show me his insecurities. And it is in consideration of that same pride that I pretend not to see.
            But that day, he threw that pride out of the window and asked me that question that burned within him every single day: “WHY? Out of all the possibles out there, why me? Why not them?” I was so surprised by the question that I didn’t answer him at all. I left the question hanging in the air, even though I knew that my lack of answer only fed Yuushi’s insecurity.
            But tonight, I was ready to give him my answer. Tonight, surrounded by the comfortable glow of contentment, I knew why it had to be him.
            The sound of rustling silk sheets alerted him to my desire to shift in his embrace. He loosened his hold around me and allowed me to turn around to face him. Of course, I made sure that I brushed against the entire length of his side as I turned. I took in his perplexed eyes, his disheveled dark hair, and his lips that were still kind of swollen from my bruising kisses.
            I laid a hand to the side of his face and said, “Because they weren’t you.”
La Fuego

(1) Roland Garros - a.k.a. The French Open. One of the four Tennis Grand Slam titles (held after the Australian Open).


( 13 Critics — Leave a Review )
Jul. 26th, 2008 03:34 pm (UTC)
The last one had me squealing because of the cuteness of the last line... but my favourite is Coffee Shop, because of the line about Yukimura.

I really enjoyed all of them, though :)
Jul. 26th, 2008 07:05 pm (UTC)
Waaaaiii~! ^_^ I'm glad that you enjoyed them. I always have trouble with OshiAto cuz my greatest weakness is their characterizations. But you saying that you had enjoyed these drabbles, anyway, makes me happy! Thanks for reading!!! *huggles*
Jul. 26th, 2008 03:36 pm (UTC)
Kawaii~ I like how stubborn Oshitari is about not showing his insecurities.
Jul. 26th, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC)
Well, he thinks he need to keep up an image of supreme confidence if he is to stand as an equal partner to Atobe, ne?

Thank you for the comment and I hope you had fun reading! ^_^
Jul. 26th, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC)
I like. Sometimes when you hold someone that radiant and that remarkable it's hard not to feel that while they're irreplaceable, you might not be.
Jul. 26th, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC)
*tackle-glomps* I MISHOO~!!! T_T

And yeah, both Yuushi and I understand what you're saying. Meh, I've lost count of how many times I've felt like that. Yuushi, on the other hand, has just got to deal-- it comes with the territory if you fall in love with the great Atobe-sama. *nods, nods*
Jul. 27th, 2008 06:53 am (UTC)
Well, at least there had been that chance. I imagine it's harder for those who never get one at all.
Jul. 27th, 2008 07:46 am (UTC)
Ohmaigawd. this is teh best fic I've read for the entire july of oshiatofic starvation!!!

I was kind of bothered that you mentioned damn too many guys for Atobe but I do undestand it's for the benefit of the whole story. XD And seeing a usually calm Oshitari having insecurities and streaks of jealousy are morethan enough to suffice. XD

I luffffffffffffffffffff it!
Make more!!!!

Pretty please?? XD
Jul. 27th, 2008 06:11 pm (UTC)
*huggles you tight* I'm glad you enjoyed reading these pieces, sweety! And as for Atobe, he's just too freakin' smexy! Can't really blame people for flocking to him and getting attracted, ne? I guess, in a way, Oshitari's insecurity is just a teensy bit justified.

... But... more?! o.O For serious?!?
Jul. 28th, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
i LOVE you for writing this! ^-^ ( well ilu in general xDDDDDDDDDDD *hugs, rehugs, re-rehugs* ) i don't know how you manage to come up with plots which are so different and which just seem to come together xD so prettily xD Yuushi's insecurities were teasing <3 ^_^ especially his way of going about them xD

And Tobe's answer made me smile and flail xD its for me! ^_^

^___________^ THANK YOU ne! ^^

Jul. 30th, 2008 03:43 am (UTC)
Snow-chan!!! *glomps* You finally made your way here! I am totally, totally happy that you enjoyed these.

These drabbles just came to me as we were driving on our way home from Nanaimo. I wrote them down and hoped that they wouldn't suck. If you liked them, then I am fulfilled! ^_^ Because yes, they were written for you!

I love you!!! ^o^
Jul. 28th, 2008 03:01 pm (UTC)
That was a lovely story! I just love Oshiato. *happy sigh* Thanks for writing this. ^_^
Jul. 30th, 2008 03:43 am (UTC)
Thank YOU for reading and leaving such a sweet review! I'm glad you liked! ^_^
( 13 Critics — Leave a Review )