An AtoMo Story

BY : CrunchySalad
Category: Prince of Tennis/Tennis no Ohjisama > Yaoi - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 1397
Disclaimer: I do not own Prince of Tennis or its characters. I am not making any money from this fanfiction.

One moment the television was tuned to the fuzzy gray of a dead channel, and the next moment Atobe's face was staring down at them from an interviewer's couch. It was some news special about Japan's most talented youths, and they were talking about the numerous scholastic achievements Atobe had won, but Momo couldn't really hear it because his mother was currently squealing in his ear.

"Keigo-kun's even more beautiful on television! No, I change my mind, he's more beautiful in real life. No, on television- ahhhh- no, he's perfect all the time! If only I was twenty years younger-"

Momo tried to drone his mother out as she flushed red and went on and on about Atobe. It was bad enough that his mother was fangirling, but did she have to do it with her husband and three children in the room? But then, actually, this might be the moment that Momo had been waiting for.

Yes, Momo decided, it was about time he told his family. After all, they all knew Atobe, the boy had been over often enough... they had probably wondered exactly why a Hyoutei boy would spend so much time with a rival student. Momo's heart sped up as he thought about how they would react. Would they be shocked? Angry? Disgraced? He took a deep breath. "Mom. Dad. Koji. Misaki."

His family turned to him, features expectant.

"About Atobe... well, he's my..." My what, Momo thought. Boyfriend? But the word sounded so odd, felt so strange laying on his tongue. "... lover."

Ack. Lover sounded even stranger, but it was too late now.

"Gah?" his mother asked, before turning crimson red. "You... Keigo-kun... but he's much too good for you..."

"Mom!" Momo would have reprimanded her some more, but his mother had passed out and was laying on the kitchen floor, a bit of blood seeping out of her nose. His mother was so weird... it must be all those boys love manga she liked to read.

His father sighed then, and Momo turned to him, prepared for a lecture on homosexuality. Instead, his father muttered a low "such is fate" before going back to his breakfast.

"Don't worry, aniki," his brother said, giving him a pat on his shoulder, "the Momoshiro family name will be carried on by me."

His sister was pouting. "Does this mean I can't marry Atobe-sama when I grow up?"

Momo gave a long suffering sigh. Why couldn't his family ever react normally to anything? Well, Momo thought, at least it felt good not to be hiding his relationship with Atobe anymore.

Momo didn't think anything more of it, and went about the next few days in his normal fashion. Even his family carried on as usual, even though they now knew he had a male lover, though his mother would sometimes glance at him and mumble "what a waste". Aside from that, Momo supposed it was good that his family was made up of such idiots, and he wouldn't have to deal with anything harsher.

It was on that high note that Momo found himself in Atobe's mansion the following weekend, navigating his way back to Atobe's room after getting a snack from the kitchen. His 'snack' had ended up being a platter of baby back ribs, but hey, he was a growing boy. Besides, he could always share some with Atobe (though he was fairly certain he wouldn't).

Momo turned a corner, taken aback as he crashed into something tall, slender, and furry. The tray of ribs slipped out of his hands, to which he mentally cried 'my food!' before he realized what exactly his food had landed on. There in front of him was a rather statuesque woman, her head to toe fur coat splattered with barbeque sauce, her features much too similar to Atobe's to be a mere servant. Momo gaped, as he was fairly certain who this woman was, and she was wearing the same expression Atobe always wore when he was mad and not just a little disgusted.

"Umm... eh..." Not knowing what to do, Momo bowed, though that didn't soften the woman's glowering. "I'm sorry, really sorry. I wasn't watching where I was going-"

"Never mind that," the woman drawled, her voice both haughty and commanding. "Who on earth are you?"

Momo took a deep breath before answering, his name rushing out in one quick string. "Momoshiro Takeshi, ma'am."

There was a pause then as the woman studied him, and Momo's heart rate beat in his ears as he waited for her to say something. He didn't think that Atobe would have mentioned his name in front of his parents, so maybe his mother wouldn't know who he was, but he didn't know what else to say... there was no way he was going to say he was Atobe's boyfriend, and his mind was completely drawing blanks on anything else.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the woman's face shifted, a pleasant smile replacing the frown she had been wearing. "I see."

Momo straightened up a little, letting out a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding. Now that the woman was smiling he could see that she really was very beautiful, her soft features a more feminine version of Atobe's. She was a striking blend of Japanese and Caucasian features, and her dark blond hair was held in an elaborate updo around her face.

"You must be Keigo's... friend." There was a type of disdain to the way she said 'friend', but it was completely lost on Momo, who thought she was being surprisingly amicable. "I've heard so much about you."

"Really?" Now that was another surprise.

"Oh, yes. You must dinner with us some time soon, so that we may come to know you better." Her hand reached out for Momo, fingers curling around the bare skin of his upper arm, firm and cold.

"Momoshiro, what on Earth is taking you so long?"

Both Momo and the woman turned to look in the direction of the new voice, and Atobe froze as he came another step closer, suddenly aware that Momo wasn't the only person there.

"Mother," he greeted, his head turned down in a small nod, and all of Momo's suspicions about the woman's identity were confirmed.

"My precious son." There was a warmth in her smile now, though her tone was exactly the same as it had been when addressing Momo. She moved towards her son, every movement elegant, almost regal, and brushed her fingers through his hair. For his part, Atobe didn't move, just stood there with an almost wary expression. "On Saturday your friend will join us for dinner."

"Yes, mother," Atobe replied, and with that his mother turned and left, the scent of her perfume lingering in the hallway.

"I trust you don't have any plans Saturday," Atobe said, and it jolted Momo from where he had been staring after Atobe's mother.

"I... guess not."

Atobe turned and headed back to his room then, giving Momo just enough time to spare a glance at his ruined snack before running after him.

"Oi, Atobe," he said, catching up to the other boy, whose pace was quicker than Momo would have expected. Something Atobe's mother said had made him curious... and not a little bit proud. "What exactly did you tell your parents about me?"

"Absolutely nothing."

"Oh." Momo's pride deflated. "But-"

"It's not as though the servants don't report back to my parents," Atobe said, in a tone of voice that made it clear he felt Momo an idiot for not figuring it out himself.

"Geez..." Momo fell back a little, not knowing what to make of Atobe's sudden change of mood. Just twenty minutes ago they had been laughing over some sort of joke while in bed, and now Atobe was rubbing at his temples as though to calm a pounding headache. "Just because you have issues with your mom, doesn't mean you need to take them out on me."

Atobe sent him a scathing look, one which Momo was quite immune to despite it never actually having been used on him, though the fact that Atobe was actually looking at him like that wasn't settling well with his stomach. They were back in Atobe's room now, silent tension filling the large space, with neither boy really wanting to say anything to the other. With no noises to distract him, Momo found himself thinking about Atobe's mother, and the fact that he would soon be dining with both of Atobe's parents slowly sunk into his head. Well, it shouldn't be that nerve-racking... Atobe's mother had been nice enough.

"If you're thinking my mother's a pleasant woman, you're sadly mistaken."

"Huh?" Momo frowned as he climbed into bed, Atobe already there and pulling out a book from his nightstand. "But she was nice to me. And it's not like she was horrible to you either."

"Yes, she's such the doting mother," Atobe said, his voice dripping with sarcasm. But then he gave a small sigh, and his tone of voice softened to the one Momo was most used to. "Momoshiro, my mother is not what most people would call a decent person. It would be best to be wary of her."

Momo crossed his arms behind his head, contemplating for a moment before rolling over to his side. Atobe had his book open, eyes focused on the page, but they didn't seem to be moving. "Why are you so upset about this? It's just your mother."

Atobe closed his book. He seemed to think about it for a little bit, but then a sardonic type of smile crossed his lips, and he put the book down as he reached to turn off the light. "You're right, I shouldn't be so upset. After all, you're the one who will need to make a good impression on Saturday."

Momo frowned as the light from Atobe's bedside lamp went off... make a good impression? He hadn't thought about that, but it was true. What if Atobe's parents hated him? What if they didn't approve? Something ate at the pit of his stomach, and as Atobe snuggled up to him to go to sleep Momo's eyes were still wide open and staring at the ceiling. What would he wear? How should he act? Did he remember dining room etiquette?

"Nighty night," Atobe mumbled, his tone carefree and teasing, but Momo didn't notice. He was now to busy being consumed by worry.

Saturday came far too quickly, and Momo soon found himself seated in formal suit at Atobe's large dining room table, his heart pulsing loud and clear in his ears. Atobe, seated across from him, would occasionally tell him to stop fidgeting, though his periods of rest only lasted a few seconds before he would start twitching again. He looked down... for the life of him he couldn't remember which fork was the salad fork and which was the entrée fork and which was the desert fork... and he gave a double take. There weren't any forks or utensils on the table.

"In good company, the proper silverware is brought out with each course," Atobe drawled, with his uncanny ability to sense exactly what Momo was thinking about.

"I know that," Momo replied, a bit sheepishly at that. A few minutes later the doors opened, and Momo stood up as Atobe's parents came into the room. They took their seats at the far ends of the table, Atobe's father seeming somewhat surprised that there was a fourth guest.

"Darling," Atobe's mother said, a few moments after they were seated, "this is Atobe's friend, Momoshiro."

Atobe's mother was studying Momo in a way that made him very uncomfortable, with a smile that wasn't entirely pleasant on her face. Understanding gradually dawned on Atobe's father's face, and he, too, turned to give Momo an appraising stare. "Ah. So you're the boy who the servants tell me has been eating us out of house and home... no small feat in that."

Momo, awkward, glanced at Atobe, who only shrugged back at him.

"What I don't understand," Atobe's father continued, turning back to his son, "is why your friend spends so much time at our home. Does he not have a family?"

"He's my guest, father," Atobe replied, a rather irritable scowl on his usually proud face.

"Darling," and to Momo's relief, Atobe's mother turned that strange smile on her husband instead, "you know our son. He's so kind... taking up whatever charity case comes his way."

"Takeshi is not a charity case, Mother."

Momo started at Atobe's use of his given name, but from the way his mother bristled, Atobe probably did it just to bother her. Momo, for his part, had no idea what to say, and eagerly dug into his salad as soon as it appeared in front of him.

"Hmph. Rather inappropriate, for a boy to be spending so much time with you," Atobe's father said, and Momo realized that he had been completely disregarded. Aside from that initial stare, Atobe's father hadn't looked at him once, and was now speaking as though he wasn't even in the room.

"I disagree," Atobe replied, an edge to the casualness in his voice, "I find it's only natural to spend so much time with the person you're sleeping with."

Momo choked and sputtered on a piece of spinach. He couldn't believe Atobe had just said that. When he looked up, he saw that Atobe's mother was a light shade of white, and his father's every muscle appeared tense. Atobe, on the other hand, looked as arrogant and self-satisfied as he always did.

The rest of dinner, needless to say, was a tense and silent affair, and Momo was quick to finish whatever was set in front of him. Despite his efforts of speeding it up though, the evening took an eternity to end, and it was a long, long time before dinner was over and Atobe's parents moved brusquely out of the room. Momo, after deciding it would be best not to spend the night, found himself with Atobe in the family town car, on his way home.

"You're not upset, are you?" There was a note in Atobe's voice that said he was genuinely concerned about whether Momo was upset or not, but Momo just shrugged in response.

"More like really embarrassed," he muttered. "I can't believe you said that."

A slow smile spread across Atobe's face. "Uncouth, perhaps, but it was worth it to see the expressions on their faces."

Atobe gave a small chuckle, but Momo had been thinking about the situation all throughout dinner, and he couldn't help but ask. "Your parents... they're not okay with you having a boyfriend."

"Most certainly not. I'm to carry on the family name, after all, get married and produce an heir."

"Well... won't you get in trouble then? Seeing me? What if they disown you?" As soon as Momo said it he thought perhaps that he was overreacting... but then, it wasn't past such traditional parents to disown 'unworthy' children.

"No." Atobe turned to face out the window, and when he spoke again, his voice was more distant than Momo was used to. "I know they would never disown me, just like they know I would never allow this relationship to last."

Silence. Utter and complete. And as the thought sunk in, as much as Momo was hurt he realized the rationality behind the statement. After all, Atobe had made clear before how seriously he took his responsibilities to his family. Still, Momo didn't know what else to say, and he spent the rest of the car ride staring down at his hands as Atobe gazed out the window.

It was still bothering him the next day, though his mother kept him occupied enough running errands so that he didn't dwell on it. He spent all morning and afternoon running around town on his bike, and then it was off to Taka-san's restaurant, to pick up sushi for dinner. He stepped through the restaurant doors, surprised to see two familiar faces sitting at the counter.

"Momo, what a pleasant surprise."

"Hey, Momo-sempai."

"Fuji-sempai... Echizen... what are you two doing here?" Momo asked, stepping up to where they were sitting, watching as Echizen tried to stuff a huge nagiri sushi into his mouth.

"Just picking up an early dinner," Fuji replied, the usual smile plastered on his face. He tilted his head a little then, studying Momo, before speaking again. "Is something the matter, Momo? You seem... off today."

"Not really," Momo lied, but from the way Echizen was smirking neither of them probably believed it.

"Boy troubles again, Momo-sempai?"

Momo shrugged, taking a seat next to them as he waited for Taka to show up.

"Definite boy troubles," Fuji said, picking up one of those wasabi rolls he liked so much. "You know, Momoshiro, if you ever want to talk, I'm always happy to lend an ear."

"No thanks, sempai," Momo said, a little suspicious, as he wasn't sure advice from Fuji was the best thing to take.

"Momo-sempai, that's mean. Fuji-sempai's given you plenty of good advice in the past."

"Why, thank you, Echizen."

Momo frowned, but that at least was true, and maybe it would help to get things off his chest. It's not like he was the type to keep secrets, any way. "Atobe's going to break up with me."

Even Fuji looked a little befuddled at that. "Atobe told you in advance that he was going to break up with you."

"Not exactly..." Momo trailed off, rubbing at the back of his head. "More like, he said we'd break up eventually."

If Momo was expected words of support from Fuji, he got the exact opposite.

"Well, that's probably true."

"Sempai?" It wasn't exactly what Momo was expecting to hear.

"Well," Fuji continued, and despite his pleasant tone of voice he struck Momo as oddly serious, "we're only in junior high. Not many couples formed so young last forever. And even if it's something as trite as love, first loves usually don't last. Or so they say."

Momo frowned, and then Echizen spoke up from around a piece of sashimi.

"Do you really think so, Fuji-sempai?"

"Aa, Echizen. I do."

Momo looked up, vaguely noticing that Echizen seemed to be frowning as much as he was. But then Taka showed up, and gave him a boat of sushi before sending him off.

Really, confiding in Fuji hadn't made Momo feel any better, though he couldn't argue with the truth behind Fuji's words. But then, if they were just going to break up, what was the point of being together in the first place? He walked home in a daze, but then he found another surprise when he stepped into the kitchen, where Atobe was wearing a frilly white apron as he cooked something with Momo's mother.

"Takeshi, where have you been?" His mother asked him, her expression changing from fawning smile to scowl. "We've been waiting forever."

Atobe half-smiled, half-smirked at him, an oven-mitted hand resting on his waist. "Yes, Momoshiro, where have you been?"

"What are you doing here?" Momo asked, prompting his mother to hit him on the head with a rolled up newspaper. "Ow!"

"Don't be so rude to Keigo, Takeshi! After he took the time to come here to eat dinner with you! Really, Keigo's just so delightful... he's been helping me make taiyaki for the last hour... not like a certain son, who doesn't even know how to use a microwave."

"Alright, alright," Momo muttered, catching sight of the plate of taiyaki on the kitchen table.

"Aren't they beautiful?" His mother asked, her voice full of adoration. "And this is Keigo's first time cooking anything!"

Momo looked at the taiyaki closer, and true to form, they were perfect. It really was irritating, how Atobe was so good at everything.

"I filled them with chocolate. It... adds a western flair, no?"

Momo's mother nodded vigorously. "It's so inspired."

"Try one, Momoshiro."

"No, thank you."

"No, no, I insist."

Momo was about to protest again when Atobe stuffed half a fish into his mouth. He chewed through his frown. "Delicious."

"Of course," his mother cooed, "Keigo made them."

The rest of the family came in then, Momo's sister glomping onto Atobe's waist in a greeting, and it wasn't long before they settled into a pleasant family dinner. Really, it seemed so natural, and Momo almost forgot entirely about Atobe's parents and his family circumstances. They talked with one another, joked, and when Atobe smiled at him over the platters on their round kitchen table, Momo couldn't help but think... okay, so maybe they were going to break up some day. But at least until then, if it even happened at all, they could enjoy the time they had together. And even when they were old and married to other people, they could still look back of their memories together with fondness and affection.

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