The sequel to White Chocolate. The boys enjoy their summer. Atobe/Momo. Mild slash, obviously.
Disclaimer: Not mine and not making any money.
Momoshiro Takeshi sprawled in the grass, idly watching a butterfly flitter across the clouds above him. It was summer vacation, and Atobe had invited both the Hyotei and Seigaku regulars to his family's so-called cottage by the sea. Strangely, no one had turned down the offer.
They'd been there for a few days already, and Momo was definitely enjoying the atmosphere. Even though the two teams were rivals, they'd been getting along remarkably well. A lot of this had to do with the fact that Oishi had graduated from Hyotei, Momo thought, but he certainly wasn't complaining.
He was considering getting up and going in search of some ice cream when Atobe walked over and looked down at him, a rather amused expression on his face. Momo jumped a bit, as he'd been too absorbed in his thoughts to notice Atobe's approach, and Atobe laughed and settled down beside him.
"Basking in the warmth, I see?" he asked as Momo relaxed back into the grass. "Mm," Momo replied, too comfortable for a real conversation.
Atobe reached out a hand and ran a finger down Momo's arm, leaving a trail of goosebumps behind. Momo shivered and moved away slightly.
"Atobe," he started, a warning tone to his voice.
"Everyone else is working on dinner," his boyfriend replied, sitting up and looking down at him. "They'll be busy for the next hour, at least."
"But we don't know that," Momo replied. He looked away from Atobe, focusing his eyes on the slope to the water instead.
Atobe sighed, sounding annoyed. They'd been dating for the past three months, but Momo still refused to tell anyone about their relationship. It was a sore point for both of them, and their most frequent source for an argument.
"It's not like you have anything to be ashamed of," he commented, then continued as Momo opened his mouth to protest, "but I'll drop it. For now."
He stood up and shook the grass off his clothing before turning to look at Momo.
"They'll find out someday, even if you don't tell them."
Momo curled up on his side as Atobe walked off, his good mood ruined by the exchange. Atobe was right, he knew. His friends might be surprised by it, and a little bit uncomfortable with the fact that it was Atobe, but they'd support him in the long run. He knew that. He just couldn't bring himself to actually tell them.
He wasn't even entirely sure why he couldn't tell them, which annoyed him. It wasn't because it was Atobe that he was dating; as Atobe had said, it was nothing to be ashamed of. It wasn't because he was dating a boy; the Golden Pair had been dating since their first year of high school and no one had so much as blinked an eye over that.
It was just that he wasn't ready yet. He'd have to do it sooner or later, but he'd prefer later.
He just hoped that he had a chance to tell everyone before they found out in some far more embarrassing fashion.
Momo got up and stretched before attempting to brush the grass from himself, then turned to stare out at the sea. Atobe had mentioned dinner preparations, he remembered. He certainly didn't want to miss out on anything involving food. With that in mind, he turned and headed back to the house further up the hill.
What Atobe's family called a cottage, most people would call a rather large house. The place was easily four times the size of Momo's house, and usually had a staff of four to keep the place clean and serve the guests. Atobe had convinced his parents that the servants weren't necessary this time, so the cooking and cleaning had to be taken care of by the boys.
Luckily for everyone, Taka-san had been invited and had quickly taken over food preparation. He'd been working at his father's sushi place since graduating from junior high, and his cooking skills were in high demand, seeing as most of the rest of them could barely manage to feed themselves, much less everyone else.
As Momo approached the kitchen, the noise from inside grew more distinct. He could hear Kaidou berating Eiji for stirring the soup wrong, and Inui calmly making notes as Gakuto yelled something about pepper. He was starting to wonder if coming back was a bad idea when Oishi leaned out of the kitchen and smiled at him.
"Ah, Momo! We were wondering where you'd disappeared off to," he said, ignoring the increasing chaos behind him. "Would you mind helping me set the table?"
Momo nodded, grateful for the excuse to avoid the kitchen, and followed Oishi to the large chest of drawers on one end of the dining room. They'd eaten their first meal on incredibly delicate china, with Oishi and Ohtori watching over Eiji and Gakuto nervously, before discovering a hidden stash of paper plates at the back of the cabinet.
They finished setting the table a few minutes before dinner was ready, but agreed that it would probably be better to just wait in the dining room. Momo settled into a chair and thought over his and Atobe's earlier bickering. His brooding was abruptly cut off when everyone else came tumbling out of the kitchen with dinner.
At first, the two teams had split the table down the middle, with Seigaku at one end and Hyotei at the other. Momo and Atobe had been right in the middle, and Momo had spent a good part of the meal ignoring Atobe's foot sliding up his leg. Since then, people had become more scattered, and Momo found himself seated across from Oshitari and between Inui and Jirou, who was falling asleep on his plate.
Dinner was good, as always, and Momo found himself drawn away from his thoughts into the conversation. Every so often, he'd catch Atobe looking at him, but he always looked away. Oishi was discussing the possibility of some fireworks later in the week, which Momo thought sounded fun.
Dinner ended and the dishes were thrown in the dishwasher, and everyone ended up sitting around the living room, watching Eiji and Gakuto argue over what to watch on TV. Oshitari finally grabbed the remote and declared that they would all watch whatever channel he flipped to.
"But Yuushi, what if it's boring?" whined Gakuto, trying to get the remote back.
"Too bad," replied Oshitari, hitting random buttons.
Luckily for everyone, he managed to find a semi-decent comedy movie that a few of them had watched before. People started drifting off as the movie neared the end - Jirou had been asleep from the beginning, sprawled across Kabaji's lap. Eiji fell asleep next, cuddled up with Oishi in one of the comfy chairs; Gakuto, Oshitari, Oishi, Kaidou and the rest followed suit until only Momo, Fuji, Atobe and Inui were still awake.
Inui looked around at the boys scattered across the floor and sighed.
"I suppose we should wake them all up and get them upstairs, shouldn't we?" he asked, looking rather displeased at the prospect.
Atobe shrugged and looked around.
"I don't see the problem in leaving them where they are," he replied, "They all look rather comfortable."
Momo yawned and slid down in the couch, wishing Inui and Fuji would go away so he could curl up against Atobe and fall asleep like the rest of them. He was considering doing it, Inui and Fuji be damned, when Atobe stretched and stood up. He walked over to Kabaji and gave him a tap on the shoulder.
"Kabaji? Carry everyone to their rooms, please," he said as the tall, silent boy woke up and looked at him.
"Usu," replied Kabaji, easily lifting up Jirou and heading up the stairs.
Fuji raised an eyebrow at the request, but said nothing.
"Are you sure he can carry everyone? Some of them are rather awkward to lift, I'd think," Inui commented, looking at Ohtori and Oshitari in particular.
Atobe nodded and walked over to where Ohtori had fallen asleep with his head on Shishido's outstretched arm, shaking him lightly. The white-haired boy blinked up at him sleepily and yawned, then sat up and looked around.
"Oh, I fell asleep," he said, causing Momo to laugh quietly. "I suppose we should get everyone up to bed, then?"
Atobe nodded and went to wake up the rest of his team, while Inui and Fuji took care of Seigaku. Kabaji returned a minute later and hauled Gakuto away, then Eiji, and finally Hiyoshi. By that point, most of the others had gone off to get ready for bed themselves, and Fuji and Inui followed them up, leaving Momo and Atobe alone in the living room.
Momo yawned again and looked at Atobe.
"Carry me?" he teased, holding up his arms like a child.
Atobe rolled his eyes, but walked over and took his hands anyway.
"I think you're slightly too heavy for that," he replied, smiling back. "I'll carry you to bed from the doorway, though."
Momo laughed quietly, then quickly dropped Atobe's hands as he heard someone walking back downstairs.
Fuji walked by, smiling as always, and disappeared into the kitchen for a moment, then reappeared with a glass of water.
"Good night," he said as he walked up the stairs. Momo nodded after him and looked back at Atobe sheepishly.
"Sorry, I just..." he started.
Atobe shrugged and closed his eyes for a second, then looked at Momo.
"I know. It's your choice. Let's go to bed," he said, turning and heading towards the stairs himself. Momo looked after him, then followed with a sigh. He really wished Fuji hadn't walked downstairs, although he knew he could have just stayed where he was.
He checked to make sure the hallway was empty before slipping into the room he shared with Atobe. Supposedly, his room was down the hall, but he only ever used that room to change and, occasionally, have a nap. No one had noticed where he was actually sleeping yet and he intended to keep it that way.
Atobe was in the adjacent bathroom brushing his teeth when Momo walked in. He looked over and nodded before returning to the task at hand. Momo took that as a good sign and went to dig out his pyjamas from the pile of sheets and blankets on the bed. He wasn't entirely sure they were in there, and wasn't surprised when Atobe picked his pants up off a chair on the way out of the bathroom.
"We really should be more careful where we throw these," he said with a smirk. Momo blushed and grabbed the pants from him, ignoring the amused laughter as he stalked into the bathroom to change. He wasn't sure why he didn't just change there - it was nothing Atobe hadn't seen before - but he hadn't yet and he certainly wasn't about to start after a comment like that.
When he emerged a few minutes later, absentmindedly wiping toothpaste from his cheek, Atobe was making the bed. Momo stopped in the doorway, surprised at how well his boyfriend did something that he probably had servants for. He smiled a bit as Atobe fluffed up one of the pillows, then walked over and wrapped his arms around him from behind, burying his face in Atobe's shoulder.
He could feel Atobe shift to look at him over his shoulder and looked up, smiling at the amused expression on Atobe's face.
"You're affectionate tonight," Atobe said, turning around within Momo's arms and kissing his forehead. Momo just kept smiling and lightly toppled them back onto the bed, hitting the light on his way down. When he woke up the next morning, Atobe was already awake and getting dressed. Momo yawned and stretched, catching the other boy's attention.
"Sleep well?" asked Atobe, buttoning his shirt.
"Of course," Momo replied, as always. It was true. He always slept well when he was with Atobe, something he found slightly puzzling, but definitely a good thing. Atobe smiled and tossed him his clothes as he headed out the door.
"Breakfast's already started," he said from the hall.
Momo could smell the bacon cooking, and his grumbling stomach made him get up and dressed faster than usual. He stuck his head out the door, glancing around the hallway, before walking out and down the stairs.
Breakfast had, indeed, already started, and Momo woke up quickly when surrounded by his rather hyper friends and associates. Jirou woke up long enough to suggest they have a barbeque on the beach for dinner, an idea which was agreed upon by all.
As they finished up breakfast, people drifted off to plan the rest of the day. Someone declared a sandcastle building contest on the beach, and Momo spent most of the afternoon in his bathing suit, covered in sand. Everyone who wasn't directly involved ended up watching anyway, and by the time dusk fell, the beach was covered in castles and tired teenagers.
While the contest was finishing up, those not involved with it had started building a fire pit a bit further down the beach, and it was ready to go shortly after everyone had gathered. Kabaji had been sent back to the house to get supplies, with a few others accompanying him, and everyone grabbed some food and started cooking.
Amazingly, the entire meal was made without anyone setting anything on fire, including themselves. Momo was impressed. Oishi ran off to find marshmallows at Eiji's request. Pretty soon, everyone's fingertips were coated in sticky, sugary goo, and Eiji and Gakuto were challenging each other to back flips on the grass.
Momo laughed and leaned against Atobe's arm, not noticing the interested look he was getting from Fuji, before remembering where he was and sitting back up. He sighed quietly, wishing he could just tell everyone and stop having these awkward moments, but couldn't find it in himself to be annoyed when there were marshmallows to be roasted.
The fire started dying down as the night grew darker, and everyone decided it was time to pack up and head in. No one was tired enough to go to sleep right then, though, so various board games were dug out from another cabinet and set up around the living room. As usual, competitions bubbled up everywhere, and it was far later than usual when everyone headed off to bed.
Momo crashed into bed and fell asleep halfway through saying good night. He woke up the next morning to find Atobe up and gone, and stumbled out the door still half-asleep.
He walked into the kitchen, vaguely surprised to see that there was only a handful of people awake and downstairs, walked over to Atobe, kissed him good morning, and made it all the way to the fridge when the deafening silence got through to his sleep-hazed brain and he realized what he'd just done.
He turned around just as Eiji started freaking out.
"Momo just kissed Atobe!" the redhead yelled, pointing dramatically to emphasize his statement. Momo blushed and ducked his head, rather wishing he could disappear right then. If Eiji knew, it was a sure thing that everyone else in the house would know within a minute of coming downstairs.
"Yes, and?" Atobe replied calmly, refilling his cup of tea.
"But, you, and Momo! And kissing!" Eiji said, apparently rather stuck on that point, not that Momo blamed him.
Surprisingly, no one else in the kitchen seemed to be inclined towards dramatics. Jirou was fast asleep on one end of the table, completely unaffected by Eiji's yelling. Ohtori was sitting next to him, looking mildly surprised but rather happy, and Fuji was on his other side, smiling as usual. Inui, to no one's surprise, had pulled a notebook out of thin air and was scribbling madly, the light glinting off his glasses.
"Congratulations, Atobe-san, Momoshiro-san" Ohtori said, smiling brightly at them. Momo just blushed harder and nodded.
"I was wondering when you'd let everyone know," Fuji commented, looking entirely too amused by the situation.
"Eh?" Momo said, surprised out of his embarrassment. "You knew?"
"Of course," Fuji replied, "It was obvious. You weren't sleeping in your room, and you do, hm, snore loudly enough for me to hear when I'm passing by during the night." Momo blinked a few times, then said, "Oh." Somehow, he wasn't surprised that Fuji knew. Fuji always seemed to know things he shouldn't.
Eiji turned to stare at Fuji.
"You knew Momo and Atobe were doing stuff and you didn't tell me?" he said.
"It really wasn't my place to say anything," Fuji replied, then turned to Momo. "Right?"
"Er, yeah," Momo said, finally sitting down. "Guess this means I should tell everyone before Eiji-senpai does, doesn't it?"
"I told you they'd find out sooner or later," Atobe said calmly. "Tea?"
Momo glared at him and held out his cup. "Oh, shut up. I was going to tell them before the end of the week, I swear." He sighed. "Although this makes it a bit more necessary."
He yawned and grabbed a croissant. Oddly, he wasn't all that embarrassed, now that Eiji had calmed down and was just staring intently at them. He knew that most people would be surprised, but figured that he'd gotten most of the hysterics out of the way already. He just wished Fuji hadn't been so creepily aware of the entire situation.
More people wandered in, yawning and stretching, and soon enough, everyone was there. Momo opened his mouth to say something when Eiji interrupted him.
"Momo's dating Atobe! Isn't that weird?" he said, looking at Oishi.
Once again, the kitchen fell silent and this time, Momo just fell face first into the table. Eiji really, really needed a lesson in tact, he decided, staring at the grain on the table.
"Eiji!" Oishi scolded, "You really shouldn't blurt things out like that!"
"Oh, sorry," Eiji said, sounding a bit sheepish, "I wasn't thinking."
"Obviously not," contributed Atobe dryly.
"But it's true! They kissed!"
Momo lifted his head and looked up to find everyone in the room except Jirou staring at him and Atobe.
"Oh?" asked Oshitari, looking rather amused. "Is that so?"
"Of course!" Eiji replied, looking insulted. "I don't lie!"
Atobe shrugged and nodded. "It's true. Does anyone else feel like commenting?" The silence thickened noticeably at this challenge, until Oishi smiled and said, "Congratulations, you two! Why didn't you tell us earlier?"
Momo smiled nervously. "It just never came up?" he offered.
Oishi didn't look convinced, but smiled anyway. "I'm sure you had your reasons," he agreed.
With the silence broken, everyone went about life as usual. Gakuto started to question Atobe but was shushed, very calmly, by Ohtori. Kaidou hissed a bit more than usual, but, amazingly, avoided starting a conflict. Everyone else just settled down to eat breakfast and occasionally try to look in Inui's notebook as he continued taking notes.
Momo remained tense for most of breakfast, expecting someone to say something to annoy him, but when no one did, he calmed down and drank his tea. Atobe's hand found his under the table and Momo was glad for the reassurance.
As everyone was finishing up their food, Oishi suggested a trip into town to buy fireworks and sparklers, and as soon as the dishes were put away, they headed off. Atobe and Momo stuck to the back, behind Inui and Kaidou, and talked quietly most of the way there.
"See, I told you it would be fine," Atobe said, watching Momo out of the corner of his eye.
Momo rolled his eyes. "Yes, yes, and the great you knows everything," he said, but he was smiling.
"I think that could have gone rather more smoothly," Atobe commented, ignoring Momo's sarcasm. "Kikumaru's announcement was somewhat lacking in finesse."
Momo laughed. "Eiji-senpai's like that, though. He doesn't tend to think before doing things sometimes."
"Sounds rather familiar."
"Hey! I'm not that bad!"
Atobe laughed and they fell into comfortable silence for the rest of the walk.
The fireworks that night were beautiful, exploding into flowers of light in the sky and reflecting on the water. Everyone had fun with the sparklers, and Atobe was sent off to get more partway through the night.
Oishi came to sit next to Momo, who was taking a break to watch Eiji try and fail to write his name in the air.
"I'd like to apologise for Eiji's, er, indiscretion this morning," he said, smiling at Momo.
"Ah, it's okay, I really didn't mind," Momo replied. "It saved me the trouble of figuring out how to say it, actually."
"I must admit, it was a bit unexpected," Oishi commented, watching Eiji grab another sparkler and try again. "I wasn't aware you were that close to him."
"Heh, yeah," Momo said, shrugging a bit and smiling. "I don't think anyone would expect it. Actually, it's thanks to you."
Oishi turned to him, surprised. "Really?"
Momo nodded, looking out at the dark ocean in front of them. "Yep. We started talking because of your party, and just got used to each other, I guess." He turned to Oishi and smiled. "Thanks."
Oishi laughed softly. "No need to thank me for having a birthday, Momo," he said, then got up as Eiji ran over, yelling something about it being Oishi's turn to write stuff with the sparklers. "It's nice to see you happy with him."
Atobe walked up and tossed the bag of sparklers into Jirou's waiting hands. The usually sleepy boy bounced off towards Fuji, who seemed to find him rather amusing, and Atobe sat down next to Momo. Momo snuggled up against Atobe, deciding that it was so much better when he didn't have to worry that people would see them. Atobe wrapped an arm around him and pulled him close and they watched in comfortable silence as their friends ran out on the sand, enjoying their summer days.