Convenience, by kishmet. AtoRyo, PG, humor. The original premise for this fic was absolutely ridiculous. XD It turned out...slightly less ridiculous than I thought it was going to be. Only slightly.
"How many people eat here, again?" Ryoma looked across the enormous room. The table was almost as long as the room itself. He looked up. He wondered how they cleaned the ceilings, and how many of Atobe's servants had died trying to do so. The chandeliers didn't look dusty.
"Generally I eat here by myself," said Atobe. His butler pulled out the chair at the nearest end of the table, and Atobe sat down in it.
"You eat here by yourself." Ryoma looked at him, making sure his expression was properly awed.
"You're impressed by the quality of the accomodations, no doubt," said Atobe.
"No, I was just thinking that only someone really arrogant would eat in here by themselves," said Ryoma.
"Only someone envious would make that comment," Atobe replied, apparently unfazed. The butler picked up the napkin and shook it out, then draped it over Atobe's lap. Atobe raised an eyebrow at Ryoma, who was still standing. "You may sit anywhere you like." He gestured to the seat that was to his right.
Ryoma saw the gesture, but ignored it. He walked off, down the length of the table. There was a place setting in front of every one of the thirty or so seats. Probably Atobe had them changed every day, just so that it would keep on looking good. Either that or he just had them dusted, but Ryoma suspected that Atobe owned enough plates and silverware to put out a different one at least once a day. Ryoma reached the other end of the table, and promptly pulled out the chair and sat down before the butler there could do it for him. He didn't mind being served; he just liked to annoy Atobe more. "This is good," he said, loudly enough that Atobe could hear.
"Not what I had in mind," said Atobe. "Though I should have guessed as much, with your juvenile attitude."
"If you have a table this long, what's the point if we both sit over there?" Ryoma picked up his glass, which the maid had already filled with Ponta, and took an appreciative sip of it.
"You make a good point." Atobe called another maid over and conferred with her. Ryoma didn't lean forward to try and hear them. He knew that would only make Atobe say that Ryoma would be able to hear, if he'd taken a seat closer to the other end of the table. Ryoma took another sip of his drink instead. The maid nodded and hurried away. Atobe leaned back in his chair, looking satisfied even from so far away. "Curious, brat?" he asked, picking up his own glass, which was most likely filled with one of his favorite nonalcoholic cocktails. Ryoma thought it was stupid, to have a mixed drink as your favorite. You couldn't get mixed drinks out of vending machines. Then again, Atobe had probably never touched a vending machine in his life.
"About what?" Ryoma asked.
Atobe chuckled. "Pretend all you like. I have no doubt you'll be impressed with my solution to this problem."
More servants marched into the room. Ryoma watched them, maintaining his facade of studied indifference. They surrounded the long table on both sides that Ryoma and Atobe weren't sitting on. Then they picked up the table and moved it carefully to the side, without knocking even one of the forks out of place. Ryoma almost choked on his Ponta.
Four more servants walked in, carrying a smaller table that was set just as perfectly as the large one. They put it down in front of Atobe, who never moved except to drink his cocktail. Atobe smiled and dismissed the extra servants with a wave of his hand.
"What are you going to do now?" Ryoma asked skeptically. "Have them carry all that down here, and you too?"
"No," said Atobe smugly. "You're lighter."
It was a good thing Atobe had said that, because Ryoma knew to hold onto his drink. He still scowled and had to catch his balance when one of the larger butlers picked up his chair. Ryoma crossed his arms as he was quite ceremoniously carried across the room. "This is stupid," Ryoma informed Atobe when he was set down at the smaller table, to Atobe's right.
"It's expedient, not stupid," Atobe corrected him. "There's a difference."
"Maybe it's both," said Ryoma, though he still thought it was more stupid than anything else. He put his Ponta down on the fine white linen tablecloth. He would have "accidentally" spilled some of it, but he knew Atobe had a thousand, or maybe a million more tablecloths, somewhere in storage. "You said I could sit anywhere."
"You're still sitting in the seat you chose," said Atobe.
"Not in the same place," said Ryoma.
"If you'd like to move again and eat from a plate on your lap, I won't stop you."
"This is fine. I guess." Ryoma swung his feet, connecting with Atobe's leg to see what Atobe would do. Atobe caught Ryoma's leg with his own, and ran a foot lightly up Ryoma's calf. Ryoma refused to shiver, and looked annoyed instead.
"Can I sit somewhere else?" Ryoma asked suddenly.
"I told you that you could sit anywhere," said Atobe. "Although it seems that you complain no matter where you're sitting."
"Fine." Ryoma stood up. The maid unobtrusively reached in to pick up his glass, to move it wherever he chose. Ryoma didn't plan on going far. "Pull the chair out," Ryoma instructed the butler behind Atobe.
Either Atobe had told the servants to obey Ryoma's orders (probably within reason), or else Ryoma just had an air of authority, or maybe a combination of the two. The butler pulled Atobe's chair out. Atobe glanced behind him, then back at Ryoma. "And what are you doing?"
"Sitting wherever I want," said Ryoma, and sat on Atobe's lap. He didn't straddle Atobe, because then they wouldn't end up eating at all. "If I'm that close anyway, I might as well be this close."
"Hm," said Atobe, but he didn't look displeased. In fact, he began to smirk. "Feel free to sit here whenever you choose."
"I will," said Ryoma nonchalantly, taking his Ponta from the maid. He planned to take Atobe up on that invitation at the most inopportune times he could manage.
"All of you, I don't believe we'll require any further attention," said Atobe, snapping his fingers again. The servants all turned obediently on their heels and left the room. Ryoma smirked, and decided that straddling Atobe might be a good idea after all.
He guessed there was something to be said for expediency, even when it was kind of stupid.