DISCLAIMER: Konomi Takeshi owns Prince of Tennis and its characters. I don't.
NOTES: I did NOT use canon Sanada. I needed him to loosen up some for the purposes of this fic.
I have no idea what kind of party they're in. And why Sanada would attend. :) The party idea was inspired by Inquietare's gen fic "May the Best Man Win" , wherein the author not only showed Marui and Mukahi in a delightful cookie-related squabble, but also showed Sanada and Atobe together and made me go pika.
I'm very much the amateur when it comes to collecting pro tennis facts, and I would appreciate some corrections made to the glaring errors in this fic. I also created a fictional tournament, the Akabane Cup, just for this story. I hope the true tennis enthusiasts reading this will forgive me...please don't take this seriously. I sure as hell didn't.
I read somewhere in the tenipuri_yaoi LJ community that someone considers "Bailamos" one of her favorite songs for Sanada x Atobe. This got a particularly silly plotbunny hopping :)
"No you've got it wrong. S-- won 7-5 that year. It was during Wimbledon that he got a 6-4. And it was to A--."
"Can't be. A-- kicked his ass on Wimbledon that year."
"Look you pompous half-wit, this is pro tennis and I know what I'm talking about..."
"Well you've got to be wrong, shit for brains, because I never am."
Despite the name-calling, scowling, threats of bodily harm, and general snarkery, Atobe was actually enjoying himself.
Close to an hour ago...
Atobe had resigned himself to the thought that the party was going to be boring. He deigned to attend because everyone just HAD to see that new white silk shirt he bought just yesterday.
He was just going to make a grand entrance, stunning everyone with his visual glory...and then he was going to make a grand exit, making everyone sigh with abject disappointment.
He was expecting that the party was going to be somewhat interesting, since he'd heard Tezuka Kunimitsu was going to attend. He could sidle up to the man and pester him with inquiries after his left elbow.
If that failed to rile Tezuka up, there were always discussions about pro tennis, which the man was always good for. He was not just the pretty face heading the Seigaku losers' circle, after all.
There was no Tezuka Kunimitsu, so Atobe got much too bored, much too early. He started to consider going home sooner than intended.
But his plans changed when he plopped down in one of the many love seats scattered around the hall. The central one, of course. And suddenly he realized there was someone sitting beside him.
"Hmm," this person greeted. And when Atobe looked, the person shot him a rather unfriendly glare from under a baseball cap. Presumably for invading his personal space.
Wasn't Atobe's fault he was so dull even in regular clothes that he blended into the shadows.
He even wore that tacky baseball cap indoors.
The Ore-sama met the glare head-on. Regardless of who was occupying the love seat before his ass touched it, he'd staken his claim.
"Sanada." A monumental smirk. "This is rather new, eh? If I remember correctly, you detest parties."
Sanada crossed his arms and settled down deeper into his piece of furniture. Turned his now-bored gaze to the formalities ensuing elsewhere in the room.
Atobe noted with some triumph that he didn't look like he was enjoying himself at all.
"I'm just here because some of my teammates' parents wouldn't let them go without a chaperone. Meaning, me." More grumbling than any real talking.
Oh, how learning that made Atobe so happy. "Why? Afraid their poor babies will get hurt?"
"More likely afraid their poor babies will hurt someone." He cast a watchful glance over to where his teammate Kirihara Akaya stood, laughing much too loudly among a small host of second-years.
Kirihara's face was getting flushed, and he was holding a small cup of punch. It might have been spiked, or it might not, Sanada's concern was that the sugar alone will send Kirihara bouncing off the walls. He should be making his way to that corner of the room soon.
"So in the end we're babysitting, are we..."
Eyes shutting. "Don't start, Atobe. I'm missing the reruns of the Akabane Cup and I'm not in a good mood."
Atobe found himself shifting gears. He had not meant for the snark to be stolen that quickly, but the news took him by surprise.
He leaned back and faced Sanada, resting one elbow on top of the backrest.
"I missed the live airing, myself. There are reruns?"
"Doubles started airing yesterday evening on cable. Where have you been?"
Atobe didn't bother replying he was out buying the shirt he had on.
Or even bother to snap at this hapless peon for insulting his magnificence.
Not if he wanted to get more info out of the peon.
"I had better things to do with my time than watch television. So who's on the lineup?"
He signaled for Kabaji to get him a cup of punch.
And close to an hour and several cups of punch after that...
"Venus, you silk-shirted, incompetent -- "
"Just because Venus is older, that automatically makes her better? Serena's better, you obnoxious baseball cap-wearing know-it-all." He glanced up at Sanada's hair, "And by the way that monstrosity does NOT go well with your green t-shirt. Have some sense of style, for god's sake."
Atobe was rather relieved that even in the absence of Tezuka Kunimitsu, there was someone to converse with intelligently about tennis.
And this one's voice was much more pleasant.
Which shouldn't mean a thing to Atobe, really...
"Serena has a nice ass."
"They both have nice asses. Venus has better legs."
But it mattered that he was getting a kick out of making that stoic facade crack.
Not quite smiling yet, however. There had to be a way to break down some more of his walls...
It occurred to Atobe in passing that maybe he'd had one too many cups of punch. Kabaji kept them coming, and Atobe was handing one cup over to Sanada without even thinking about it. In effect, he had no idea how much hopefully-non-alcoholic party mix the two of them had consumed.
He never tried discussing anything with Sanada before, not even in the junior selection camp, where he would have had the greatest opportunity to chat the guy up.
Little did Atobe know that he and Rikkaidai's spartan vice-captain would have something in common.
And that Rikkaidai's spartan vice captain could be so damn cute when he was on "naughty" mode.
"Whatever," Sanada said finally. "I can't waste any more strength on you. I have to reserve some for when Kirihara starts acting up..."
Sanada looked around. Kirihara was nowhere in sight.
He sighed in annoyance. He'd been distracted by Atobe's childish argumentation, giving Kirihara the chance to stagger tipsily out of view. Now chaos could ensue and no one would know where it was coming from.
Yes, the flashy Hyoutei regular was to blame for everything.
"Hora Sanada-san, don't tell me all of your energy is just for keeping watch on your teammates." With one hand, Atobe flipped back the strands of bleached hair that had fallen onto his face. "This is a party! You should have a little fun."
Sanada turned back to him and raised an eyebrow, in a "What? Me? Have fun?" fashion. Atobe noted casually, that was cute, too.
...Hmm...they've started to serve some really good punch now...tastes different...
The music (something by Morning Musume, which had gotten Seigaku's Kikumaru Eiji doing cartwheels on the dance floor) ended, and Kikumaru Eiji crashed into the arms of his oblivious doubles partner -- who had been conducting a pleasant conversation with Fudoumine's captain Tachibana Kippei.
Ooishi Shuuichirou staggered under Kikumaru's weight, but stayed on his feet, with his arms firmly wrapped around his partner. This finale was greeted by an eruption of applause.
Kikumaru might have been blushing because the cartwheels made him dizzy, but there was no good reason why Ooishi was blushing as well.
Then the music eased into a Spanish guitar intro that Atobe recognized.
The synthesizers came in, the lights dimmed, the mobiles sparkled and the night instantly came to life.
Never mind that the room was suddenly divided into "people who quickly wanted to dance," and "people who were still sober enough to wonder how a sexy Latin dance track got into the playlist in an all-boys party."
Someone got it into his creative head to put that song into the playlist, just when Atobe was starting to feel a restless buzz coursing through his entire body. Maybe this party wasn't such a total waste after all.
No girls in sight, but that didn't matter.
"...got to find Yanagi and tell him to keep a lookout for -- what are you doing?"
Sanada was frowning at Atobe with muted confustication. Atobe had started to dance in his seat.
Or rather, their love seat. Sanada suddenly wanted to jump up and stand at a safe distance.
But Atobe had seized his wrist, in reply to his query.
"This song," the Hyoutei regular was saying in all seriousness, "is impossible to listen to without dancing."
Sanada blinked. He didn't even recognize the tune.
And how long had Atobe's eyes been that bright?
The Ore-sama stood. He pulled Sanada up by the wrist. When the tall Rikkai player got to his feet, half the room snapped to attention, looked over at the pair.
It was with some effort that Sanada pulled himself upright. Coming to his feet suddenly made him dizzy. What the hell...?
Atobe gave a predatory smile upon seeing the surprised look on Sanada's face. Not really aware of the whole situation, but intending to exploit it to the fullest.
"Let's dance," he commanded.
It wasn't so surprising that Hyoutei's prima donna would pull something so shocking as leading Rikkai's scary vice-captain by the wrist to the center of the dance floor.
But what really made eyes go wide as plates was Rikkai's scary vice-captain making no move to break away.
And letting Hyoutei's prima donna place his hands on those sassy hips.
"Oh my Lord," everyone heard Hyoutei's Shishido Ryou sputter.
"Sanada...?!" someone squeaked in disbelief. It could have come from anywhere in the room.
Sanada was barely aware of all this happening. The music was too loud...
"Atobe, I -- " He touched his own forehead and thought he felt a little feverish.
Atobe pressed up against him, bringing their faces close, and Sanada thought he was going to fall over.
"Move with me. You'll feel better," he said softly, over the music. He yanked Sanada's baseball cap from his head, threw it back to the poor neglected love seat. "And lose the gear."
Hair falling over his confused eyes, over the sharp bridge of his nose. Atobe thought he had never seen anyone look so gorgeous while helpless.
Atobe started to move. At first just a subtle swaying, so his partner could get used to the rhythm. Sanada stubbornly stood stiff and rigid, at every moment seeming as if he wanted to run off in sheer embarrassment.
The Ore-sama knew that all eyes were on the two of them. He was not going to be humiliated.
He reached around, grabbed Sanada's backside and pulled the other boy closer. They were pressed up to each other groin to groin.
He heard Sanada draw a gasp.
Atobe smirked and snaked a hand up to the back of Sanada's neck.
"You're already in it," he hissed into Sanada's ear, "might as well enjoy it."
Sanada did nothing for a second. And Atobe was starting to resign himself to the fact that the man couldn't dance worth a dime.
Then Sanada planted his hand on the small of Atobe's back.
And dipped him.
Atobe felt it like a slow pulling out of the earth from under him. One foot was still firmly planted on the floor, but...
It was a deliberately slow, magnificently controlled dip, Atobe had time to realize that he had stopped breathing for a moment. Atobe's hands were gripping Sanada's shoulders, and there was no danger of him falling, but all the same Sanada's other hand was supporting the back of Atobe's neck.
Atobe felt light jolt of electricity where Sanada's fingertips touched his exposed skin.
He vaguely heard people gasping and shouting over the music.
Yes, this was the sort of attention he had set out to gain at the start of the evening.
"I was wondering when you'd know what's good for you," he sneered into those cold brown eyes.
Sanada answered with a somehow less stern "Tarundoru."
When Atobe pulled himself back upright, Sanada pulled him close.
With Sanada at the lead, their swaying had no choice but to become passionate. Atobe was amazed they still managed to slink in some real steps between all the grinding and caressing they were getting away with.
Ah, but were they getting away with it?
Or were they going to be objects of rumor and ridicule, on top of victims of really bad hangovers, after the night was done?
At this point, Atobe didn't care.
If he'd known Sanada could dance like this, junior selection camp would have been a hell of a lot more fun.
By the middle of the song, Atobe realized that a few other couples had joined them on the floor. Mostly idiots who just wanted the attention and were making fun of the affair. Saeki from Rokkaku and Fuji from Seigaku. Wakato and Kajimoto of Jousei Shounan. Ohtori and Shishido, the sight of whom made Atobe's eyebrows shoot way up to his hairline. And...Kikumaru and Ooishi from Seigaku? Hasn't that bendy doubles player had enough?!
And at the end of the (goddamn, that was long) song, he had spun and swung so much that he was sweating and out of breath when he and Sanada returned to their love seat. Sanada's baseball cap had reserved their place for them.
Atobe grabbed Sanada's cap, and slapped it on the other boy's thigh when he had sat down. Sanada wordlessly took the cap, and did nothing to remove Atobe's hand from his thigh while he brushed back his damp hair and fixed the cap on his head.
Atobe called Kabaji to him. He needed a towel of some sort.
"...I'm not drunk," Sanada announced, flushed and struggling to level his breathing.
"Yeah I know, neither am I," Atobe replied, noting with some irritation that his body refused to cool down.
The song changed into something mellower, more party-like, but the lights stayed dimmed. There were groans to be heard everywhere, along with scattered laughter. Whoever the genius was who put on "Bailamos" by Enrique Iglesias, he had been taken care of offstage.
Meanwhile, Atobe and Sanada discreetly made their way to one of the empty guest rooms.
Atobe trusted Sanada's cool, casual air to get them through undetected. His own head was spinning, and the ability to move through the shadows had its uses.
As they went, they passed a gathering of juniors from another school, whom Atobe could hardly give a damn about by this time.
"I didn't know Sanada could dance..."
"He's a national level all-rounder, idiot. Why shouldn't he be able to dance?"
"Atobe-san was amazing!"
"Did you see that?! Atobe took off his CAP!!"
That's not all I'm taking off, Atobe had to keep himself from saying.
He was vaguely aware that if things went his way, he was going to lose all measure of respectability to a rival school player. Not that he was going to let it be a one-way thing of course, by any means, but...
The night was going to last as long as possible. And it was going to end in one of the guest rooms. With a particular baseball cap and new silk shirt lying peacefully together on the carpeted floor.