Rating: Gently G
Challenge: Water... though you might be hard-pressed to find it.
Series: Prince of Tennis
Time: Fifty-something to write, another fifteen of fiddling.
Disclaimer: Uh, no. Konomi-sensei's, not mine.
Notes: It was just so beautiful out today that I simply had to write a lazy, lazy moment... and I think I'm far, far too fond of taking these challenges metaphorically rather than literally.
On new blades of grass,
The shavings of a pencil
Crimson fragments tumbling down,
Lolling in a daze of sun.
--Kitahara Hakushuu, trans. Monnie Velasquez
Atobe always woke with the morning--not a stretch, not a yawn, simply a blink. He had never once needed an alarm clock, no matter how late the night before, but then again, no doubt his household--no matter how large the house itself--would have been disturbed by the shrill blast of sound if he had, in any case. His mother had always called alarm clocks the crutch of those with little control over their own basic bodily cycles, and he agreed--certainly, it would have been unpleasant to be jarred awake in such a fashion: there was nothing so grating to his sensitive ears as the howl of mechanics, and he preferred to enter wakefulness with the instant of cool light, as smoothly and gracefully as he arced off the diving board and into the cool water of their swimming pool.
He no longer lived at home--had not truly live there, not since he'd walked out of the Hyotei entrance exams with his traditional smile firmly edging past his lips, knowing already that there was no chance that even that notoriously elite school would even consider rejecting him, Atobe Keigo--but he still slept with the shades open, and the sunlight still woke him, beading under his eyelids, natural as dew.
The sleek warmth of it through the window trickled, slowly, onto his feet, his hips, and he allowed himself the rare luxury of just a moment wallowing in that rich heat. No doubt it was still bitter cold outside--Atobe did not allow himself any illusions, and would not be fooled by the deceptive waterfall that tickled his black sheets with golden motes of dust, but sometime during the night, the comforter had drawn itself down like a towel tossed aside. He never kicked off the blankets--he slept lying still as a moonlit pool, coolly silent--but Jirou moved sometimes, pushing off the blankets as he stretched, or dreamed, as if he ran through the ocean, motions slowed like the push of hands or feet through the heavy lap of waves. At first, it had disturbed him, occasionally, and he had always nudged Jirou back to the other side of the bed.
Perhaps one, or another, of them had become used to the other, or perhaps both--Jirou still moved, still pressed close to him in his dream-saturated sleep, but elbows or hands or dreams no longer seeped past Atobe's sleeping consciousness, despite, or perhaps because of, the fact that he insisted, always, on having a good night's sleep.
Atobe smiled, faintly, distantly. Despite the lack of blankets, and the heater's silence, it wasn't cold in his room--not with the light pouring through the wide lip of his French windows and covering the bed with a faint fog of luminescence, not with Jirou lying curled into the hollow of his stomach, rumbling softly with his breathing, warm mist against his collarbone as his Singles Two player wormed closer, an uncomfortable sound bubbling up in his throat as Atobe shifted him a hint away.
He really had to get up, soon. He was, after all, Atobe Keigo, and there were a great many things for him to do, even on an early Saturday morning without morning practices. His father's supervisor needed calling, certainly, because the incompetent had, apparently, (it truly passed him by why the man had not been fired perhaps ten years before) managed to misplace the order of an important client, and it fell to Atobe to make the proper consultations--not apologies, of course, because an Atobe did not apologise. Really, it was amusing how the clients trusted the word of a fifteen-year-old past that of a company supervisor, but he was Atobe Keigo.
He had to check the stock market, sometime today, as well--it was not necessary, of course, but he acquainted himself with these things; it allowed him to speak personally to the stockbroker who handled that portion of his trust fund, because truly, who knew what the man would do, left to his own devices? It was not Atobe's habit to leave anything to either chance or human error, and he himself did not make such errors. There were papers to look over for executive council--the new training schedule to analyse--new preregulars entering the line-up to assess, just in case one of the Regulars was fool enough to be dropped... oh, and homework, over the weekend, of course, but that was hardly anything to worry about.
But the light flowed past and into the window, unbroken by his shadow, in a rich, silent babble of colour, and caught in an artless blonde tumble like shining dust, gold fragments panned from a quiet river somewhere--carefully, Atobe reached for one of those delicate glittering curls, and found himself not with wet fingers and hard-edged stone, but a touch of luxuriant silk. He only allowed himself an instant of it--only because the sun was lovely and warm on those shining, dewdropped curls.
The sun's lap over him had always snapped his eyelids open, and it was certainly not his way to loll about in bed when there was work to be done. Atobe Keigo was a great many things, indeed, but no-one had ever been able to call him lazy.
Atobe gently--gently, because he had long become accustomed to the fact that Jirou did not need to live on the same hectic schedule that he did--untangled Jirou's legs from his--really, he needed to get his roommate a pillow to embrace, because he simply couldn't keep embracing Atobe like this. It wasn't as if he minded, truly, and it was only right that Jirou kept him warm when it was Jirou who invariably pushed off the covers--but the point was simply that he did it without asking first. Atobe reached for the covers, every motion fluid as a stretch as he swam through the fog of warmth; Jirou would be cold without him in the bed.
Jirou made a soft, plaintative sound, low in his throat, like he had slipped into a bath that was too chill rather than being bared by the loss of Atobe's body into the wash of sunlight. "Atobe... s'too early."
Atobe chuckled, softly. There was no point in being disgusted at his Singles Player's sloth. "It's always too early, for you," he doubted that Jirou could understand him--no doubt, he would not remember this conversation when he finally got up to have breakfast, later in the day--but he tapped the pert tip of his roommate's nose, gently. "Go back to sleep, Jirou." It was amusing, really, how the brush of sunlight speckled the bridge of Jirou's nose with a faint, faint tracery of freckles.
"S'too early for you, too," Jirou complained--or, at least, it would have been a complaint, perhaps, if he hadn't sounded much like he were floating in a dream, floating in the new pool of light that pooled on the black sheets and bore him up when Atobe sat up. "C'mon."
Atobe slid his hand gently into Jirou's curls, and chuckled at the rumbling purr--Jirou did so enjoy being petted, though no doubt he'd deny it vigorously if he were ever awake enough to realise he were doing it. Or perhaps not--one of the best things about his roommate was that there was no pretense about him, and Atobe was inevitably tired of people pretending, around him. Perhaps Jirou would squirm under his hand, if he were awake enough to think of it, as he squirmed in the morning light. "I'll get my papers and bring them back here." The morning light was better in this room, and Atobe did enjoy being surrounded by light, dipping his fingers into it as he worked. His phone calls could, perhaps, wait until later.
To his surprise, Jirou wormed over, turning his face until half-open chocolate eyes were frosted with a thin golden ice of lashes bathed in morning, and his cheek was resting on Atobe's thigh. "You work too much," he muttered, peering up at him. "C'mon, s'such a nice day."
Well, it certainly was, and the morning filled every crevice, flowing, but that was no reason to lounge about. "That's all the more reason to actually do something."
Except... Jirou did look ineffably comfortable against him. No doubt, he was comfortable--and no doubt Jirou had been warming himself in Atobe as much as he'd been warming Atobe, because really, what other logical reason would his roommate have to simply wrap himself about him, the sprawl of his arms and legs clinging and fluid when tucked over Atobe's waist or tangled through his own neatly arranged limbs, rather than random, the way Jirou lay sometimes, when he slept alone?
Jirou peered up at him, hopefully--no doubt because Atobe hadn't moved, rather than, say, pushing him off the way he likely should have. "Five more minutes? Jus' wan' one cuddle." Which was simply Jirou-speak for wanting to ball himself in the hollow of Atobe's body. Again, it wasn't really something that he minded, really, that slim tangle of tanned-golden limbs and golden hair pressed against him, but at the same time, he really did have so many things to do...
"I won't twitch," his roommate added, hopefully, words blurred by lines like rain or slumber. "Promise."
At that, Atobe had to laugh, a warm luxuriant tumble. "I'll hold you to that," he warned--but he stretched out onto the bed again, and Jirou squiggled against him like a happy puppy playing in a puddle.
"Mmm. Atobe's the best," he added--and pushed closer to flop his cheek onto Atobe's chest before beginning to snore again, a rumble like waves in the wind. Once again, without asking. Atobe just sighed. He'd chide Jirou about it. Later. Perhaps later.
It was the morning making him giddy, drunken as it poured down his throat, plum-wine intoxication that left him drowsy. It was the warmth of Jirou pillowed on his chest, the cotton of his shirt drifting slowly across Atobe's bare skin, the tickle of warm hair like small fish kisses.
Well, of course he was the best. Atobe smiled--it was good to be appreciated--and he dipped his head to prop his head to the optimum height on the pillow--it was only accidentally that he dipped enough to catch Jirou's scent.
Jirou smelled of spring, of warmth on new grass, fresh and clean, damp with the sun. He murmured with the motion, the shift of muscle underneath him--something incoherent, dewdrop soft, but his arm strayed over the line of Atobe's stomach to lie slim and banded with gold like he shared the bath of light.
It was easy, Atobe thought drowsily and his arm curled over Jirou, pulling him closer to bury his nose more firmly in that soft trace of scent, to drown in sunlight, sometimes.
Perhaps... five more minutes.
I am... not content with this fic, somehow, but as I'm out of time, I guess there's nothing to do about that! ^^;