Atobe stood in front of the products on the shelf, looking back and forth between this kind and that kind. He knew he was in trouble... he didn't know what this stuff *was*, let alone which kind he should buy. Thankfully, he saw a familiar face at the end of the aisle. "Momoshiro. Come here."
Momo looked around when he heard his name and saw Atobe motioning for him to come closer. He looked around for a moment, and then walked over hesitantly. "You called me?"
Pointing to the shelf, Atobe said, "Tell me which kind of ramen I should buy."
Momoshiro was silent for several long seconds. "You want me to pick out instant ramen for you? What are you doing here anyway?"
"It's a treasure hunt. Each member of the Hyoutei team gets dropped off in a different district and we find the items on the list, buy them, and return to the school."
"Why can't you just buy any pack of ramen? Although, that's a strange thing for a treasure hunt, isn't it?"
"It's for charity. All of the things we get are for a particular set of families. This list has 'good ramen' on it, so I need to get good ramen."
Momoshiro looked at the shelf, examining the different kinds before finding the one he seemed to be looking for. He handed it to Atobe. "This one."
Atobe looked at him for a moment, smiling. "Are you busy?"
"I'm just getting some snacks." Momo lifted up his own basket to show Atobe the contents.
"It that all for this week?" Atobe's eyes had gone a bit wide.
"Of course not. This is for while I'm doing homework tonight. I have a little bit extra. Why are you asking anyway?" Momo was still a bit wary.
Atobe grabbed Momo's wrist gently. "You're going to help me with the rest of this. In exchange, I'll take you out to dinner anywhere you'd like to go."
Momoshiro got a glazed look in his eyes. "Anywhere?" He sobered quickly. "Do you mind if I grab some shrimp chips first?"
Atobe waved at him airily. "Whatever. I'm just buying your time to win this contest."
Picking up a few bags of chips, Momo smiled. "What do you get when you win?"
"A private tennis lesson."
Atobe turned his head to look at Momo and grin cheekily. "With me."
Momo stopped with his hand on a pack of gum. "So, why do you want to win a tennis lesson with yourself?"
"Because it's a contest, Momoshiro, and Ore-sama does not lose."
Momo grabbed the gum and they proceeded to the register. When Momo went to search for his wallet, Atobe rolled his eyes, pulled a bill out of his pocket of too large a denomination for Momo to instantly recognize, and didn't bother to count his change.
The first thought to Momo's mind, which made him blush slightly, was whether this was how his mother had felt when his father had paid for her at the movie they had gone to on their first date. It was part embarrassment, part pride, and part affection with a side of stammering. But, Momo thought, this wasn't a date.
Just under an hour later, Atobe added the last bag to the collection in the back of the limo in which he was being driven around. (The look on Momo's face when he had seen the limo was interesting, but the look as he was helped out of it at the next stop was priceless.) After he and Momo were in place, Atobe snapped his fingers and they were off. Before Momo had finished playing with all of the buttons on the limo, they had arrived at Hyoutei Gakuen.
Atobe was quick to run the bags inside, having told Momo to stay in the limo. When he came back out, he was smiling. The driver opened the door to let him back in the limo and Atobe took the seat across from Momo. "We won. So, where am I taking you to dinner?"
Momo's expression went blank. "Um... The Crab Shack?"
His lip curling in disgust, Atobe crossed his arms in front of him. "You want to eat crab in *this* city?"
"Is the crab better other places?" Momo looked excited by the possibility.
Atobe snapped his fingers. "The airport, please."
"Why are we going to the airport?" Momo played with the stereo dials and the window between the driver and passenger compartments at the same time, his eyes darting back and forth between the two.
Opening the bar compartment, Atobe grabbed a bottle of Evian and opened it. "What else do you go to the airport for? We're taking a flight."
"Oh." Then, "Where are we flying to?"
"Sapporo, of course. If you want good crab, it's the only place to go."
Two hours later, Momo sat back in his seat and sighed deeply as he grabbed his stomach. "I can't believe I ate so much crab. I can't eat another bite."
Atobe raised an eyebrow as he cracked another claw and dipped it in melted butter. "Are you certain? You've only eaten five plates of crab so far. And did you finish all of that? You know the rumor that you'll have bad luck if you start to eat and crab and don't finish..."
Momo plucked a single piece of crab from the pile and held it up. "If I ate that, I'd puke."
Pausing mid-chew, Atobe shook his head. He wiped his mouth with a napkin. "As pleasant an idea as that it, it doesn't sound particularly appetizing." He plucked the crab leg from Momo's fingers and began to crack it open. "One does what one must," he said as he dipped it in butter and brought it to his lips, savoring the taste.
They declined dessert, both being at least comfortably full. Atobe took a cup of coffee to go, sipping it from the styrofoam cup as soon as they were outside the restaurant. He stood on the sidewalk, snapped his fingers, and the car sidled up to them. Momo opened the door for Atobe and grinned. Atobe smiled a bit uncertainly and got in the limo that had been waiting for them at the airport in Sapporo.
Momo stretched out in his seat. "I think I ate too much."
Atobe arched an eyebrow delicately. "At least if you puke in this limo, it will have proper time to air out before I deign to use it again."
Laughing softly, Momo lay down on the seat completely. "Thank you."
"Oh? For what?" Atobe looked up from his fingernails which he'd been examining for imperfections.
"For dinner, and... um... remembering my name?"
Atobe pointed to him. "I told you that I would remember your name. That's that." He smiled. "I think I'll make you my own personal charity case."
Momo sat up suddenly, regretting that immediately as he clutched his stomach. "I'm no charity case. My family isn't poor."
Atobe snorted in derision. "I never said they were. But, in case you hadn't noticed, I'm incredibly rich. Or did you not notice that we flew here in *my* private jet?"
"How rich are you?" Momo asked the question indifferently, but seemed quite curious. Atobe pulled a bankbook from his pocket and showed it to Momo whose eyes went wide. "You have that much money in your account?!"
Rolling his eyes, Atobe pulled four more bankbooks from his pocket. "This is where my allowance goes. I need something to spend it on. It might as well be someone who can at least appreciate it. Money's a bit wasted on me until I want a new toy."
"Am I just a new toy, then?" Momo felt a pain in his stomach that was somehow entirely separate from the distended feeling of eating too much crab.
"No. New toys are things like a new clubhouse specifically for the regulars at Hyoutei, or a new wardrobe, or a hot air balloon. I only bother to spend time with people who interest me."
Momo smiled. "Is that why you wanted the tennis lesson with yourself?"
Atobe grinned in reply. "Of course. Ore-sama is the most interesting person ever, but you are perhaps entertaining. At the very least, it was a sight to see you eat so much, so fast. I'd hate to see you at one of my family's dinner parties. I always eat one dish at a time, so I would worry for the sake of the next one with you there."
"I've never been to a dinner party before. Are they fun?"
"You've never..." Atobe looked taken aback. "That's positively uncouth." He glanced out the window. "Here we are at the airport again."
This time, when Momo boarded the plane, he noticed the nuances that indicated that it was *Atobe's* personal jet, and not just one of the family line. Perhaps the most obvious one was his name in a large, flowing script on practically everything, including the side of the plane.
When they were firmly back in Tokyo, and back in Atobe's limo, Momo looked out the window, saw the darkness that had taken over the sky, glanced down at his watch, and started freaking out. "Oh, shit! I still have homework to do!"
Atobe rolled his eyes. "I'll call Seigaku and make certain it's all right."
Momo glared at him. "No. I can do it. It'll just take a while."
"Fine," Atobe said, crossing his legs. "I'll help you." His gaze was fierce.
"You will?" His eyes narrowed. "Does that mean you'll do it for me?"
Atobe rolled his eyes. "In this case, yes. Next time? No."
"Hey, that's fine." Momo looked at him closely. "Are you also in the position of having people, you know... 'taken care of'?"
"Who did you have in mind?"
"Tennis players shouldn't be killed, Momoshiro. Unless they're awful. Kaidoh has many good skills, several of which you could stand to have. With his endurance, you could hit even more powerful shots."
"But he's so annoying! He can't be satisfied with two hundred sit-ups. He has to do two hundred and twenty-five, so I have to do two hundred and fifty... it makes a man's stomach hurt."
Tennis conversation filled the time for a while until Momo had to begin to navigate toward his house. When they reached it, Atobe followed him inside. He was polite to Momoshiro's mother who had begun to yell at him for not calling. She was instantly charmed.
Atobe had flown through the homework for which Momo had set aside most of the day. He hadn't spoken much except to ask for more paper, or a better eraser, or a different textbook. He hadn't even mentioned the fact that Momo was diligently watching him work without doing anything of his own.
When Atobe finished, he handed the stack of papers to Momo and smiled. "There. If there are a few errors in there, I hope you won't think it rude of me to assume your teacher won't find that terribly strange."
Momo looked at the stack of papers and glanced at the time. "Atobe, I could kiss you."
"Certainly you could. And I'd probably let you."
"You... you would?" Momo clutched the papers to his chest.
"Of course. One has to set standards about who one will kiss, after all."
Momo felt a wave of warmth creep up his spine. "Thank you?"
Atobe smiled and held up the eraser. "Do you mind if I keep this? We'll pretend I'm holding it hostage for my kiss."
Setting the papers down, Momo grabbed Atobe by the flippy ends of his hair and kissed his decisively. When he pulled away, he took the eraser. "It's the only one I have that erases well enough to keep up with me on math tests."
Touching his lips, Atobe looked at Momo. "Would you like to have dinner again tomorrow?"
Momo blushed. "Sorry about the kiss. I, um, if you'll still have me?"
Atobe laughed. "I wouldn't invite you if I didn't want you there. Perhaps I'll throw a dinner party." He smiled. "You know, if I had to make a list of things I wanted, I might have put a 'good kiss' on there."
"Wasn't that the past tense?"
"Well, I just had one, didn't I?" Atobe walked to the door. "Don't bother letting me out. I'll come by again tomorrow around five. See you then, Momoshiro."
Momo wondered if he tasted like Atobe had... like sweet crab with rich butter and a hint of lemon. Then he started wondering if kisses always tasted like whatever you'd recently eaten. Finally, he decided to lay off the onions and garlic until such time as he could figure out just how bad those could make a kiss. He would let Atobe pick where to eat tomorrow, but would automatically veto Italian.