Disclaimer: Konomi's, not ours
Pairing: Royal Pair
Warnings: BL, some language... uh... stuff.
Atobe closed his Greek textbook with a snap, and carefully placed it back inside the desk on top of the neat pile of textbooks. It was time for lunch, and he needed time to take as much time to eat a possible to avoid indigestion, and so that he gave his fans time to properly fawn over his impeccable table manners. He retrieved his specially prepared bento (a fresh one every day, made to his exact specifications by the family cook) and began to make his way out of the classroom, only to run into Oshitari after taking a mere two steps out of the door.
"I heard something earlier that you might be interested in," Oshitari said in lieu of any greeting.
"Ahn? Well, feel free to share it with Ore-sama," Atobe replied as Oshitari fell into step beside him.
"Well," Oshitari began, smiling and turning this head in order to catch the light dramatically with his glasses. "Gakuto heard from St. Rudolph's Mizuki who heard from Fuji Syuusuke's younger brother that Echizen Ryoma has come back to Japan."
Atobe stopped dead in his tracks. "What?"
It was such a trouble, Ryoma thought to himself, that American schools and Japanese schools began at different times of the year. After spending the rest of junior high in America so that he could compete in tennis, Ryoma had come back to Japan for high school, back to Seishun Gakuen, back to the familiar faces and tennis games. It was a pain, starting school halfway through the year, and though Ryoma grumbled to himself a bit, sincerely, he didn't really mind. Though America had been fun, had been challenging, Ryoma, even to his own surprise, was glad to be back home, with his "family" of sorts. Things were a little different; they were in high school now, and Kawamura was gone to work for his father, and Tezuka was gone to become a professional, but, of course Ryoma knew, all things changed, and home was still home, and, though he wouldn't admit, he was looking forward to pulling out his old jersey and sweats and to being a Regular again.
And the nice part was, there were others looking forward to it, too. When he had arrived at morning practice just to show his face, to say hello again, he had been greeted with smiles all around and Kikumaru-sempai jumping on him with an "Ochibi~!" and a slap on the back from Momo-sempai and a polite but sincere "Welcome back," from Oishi-sempai (now "buchou," Kikumaru-sempai had informed him proudly) and he truly felt, for the first time since he had been back, like he had come home. They had all asked him about his trip and gushed and overwhelmed him in a giant, verbal mass, but out of all of it Ryoma had certainly remembered one thing: Regular ranking matches were to begin taking place later that day, and Ryoma had brought his racket, right?
But of course he had, and, with an uncharacteristic grin, he had taken his leave for classes with that one thought in mind. He'd be on the Regulars again soon, and life was good. At least for today, he was sure, things were going his way.
Atobe had a plan. He had been planning ever since he heard that Echizen Ryoma had returned to Japan, and hadn't even bothered to inform him. It was insulting, as the great Atobe Keigo deserved to know when one of his many rivals had come back to the country.
Atobe had planned for this moment for three years, ever since Echizen Ryoma had left to live in America again. Atobe knew that, deep down, the freshman had been interested. If Atobe looked past the immature brat Echizen made himself out to be, the boy was smart and talented, and would grow up to be quite the attractive man. Atobe knew this (intuition was his talent, after all) and now it was finally time for him to put his plan into effect.
So, armed with a large bouquet of roses (two dozen, red, fresh cut) and having made sure his hair and uniform were impeccably arranged, he had left school early so that he could publicly make his intentions known to Echizen Ryoma. And Atobe was confident that everything would go as planned.
The day dragged on; Ryoma had never felt one way or another about school, but today, it was just terrible, because, it seemed, ridiculously enough, he was more excited than he ever had been to get to a Regulars ranking match. Finally, finally the school day ended, and Ryoma had to do everything he could to keep from running to the changing rooms. He couldn't be presumptuous, of course, and changed hurriedly into a modest red polo and white shorts, along, of course, with his signature cap before grabbing his racket and heading out to the courts.
The fresh fall air felt good against his skin, and he was just being greeted by Momo-sempai and Fuji-sempai when, all of a sudden, there was a commotion from the direction of the outside entrance. Confused, Ryoma turned to look, wondering what could possibly be going on. Perhaps, he hypothesized, those obnoxious girls had found out about his return, or perhaps someone was unhappy with his return, afraid of losing their chance at a Regular spot... but no. Nothing could have prepared Ryoma for what he saw, who he saw walking towards him.
Atobe had to make his driver pass Seishun Gakuen four times before he heard the bell and made the man stop so that he could exit the car in a properly dramatic fashion. As soon as he stepped out of the limo, flowers in hand, the students (a great deal of which recognized him, much to his gratification) began to whisper, trying to figure out why he was there.
Atobe said nothing, and continued to walk along the path the students opened before him, making his was towards the tennis courts. As soon as he arrived, he was pleased to see that Echizen was already there, looking much as he did the last time Atobe had seen him, if a few inches taller and with a bit more musculature. He still owned that abhorrent hat.
"Echizen Ryoma," he called, stepping closer to the fence and smiling as all activity on the courts ceased. Echizen looked suitably awed by Atobe's presence. "Echizen Ryoma, we both know some things were left painfully unresolved at the time of your departure. Thus, ore-sama has come to settle matters. When would be the best time for our first date? Ore-sama has decided to be generous and let you decided the time and location, and will graciously arrange all other details."
Ryoma's jaw nearly dropped, and he couldn't help it, he stared at Atobe as if he had grown another head. Though, really... that even seemed more normal, more sensical than this, than Atobe suddenly here at Seigaku with a large bouquet of flowers... asking him on a date? What on earth was going on?
Without much thought and still in a bit of a state of shock, Ryoma half-stumbled off the court, dropping his racket in the process without even noticing. Still staring at Atobe, though now without the fence in the way, he tried to figure out if this was a joke or a ploy or... or anything, really. Anything to make this make sense. But Atobe was looking at him funny, with that sparkle in his eye and that smirk on his lips, and Ryoma simply could not figure out what was going on. "What are you talking about?" he finally managed to ask blandly, still confused beyond belief. Everyone was staring, and this whole ordeal really seemed unnecessary... What was going on?
Atobe's smile dimmed slightly at Ryoma's reaction. Based on the signals he was giving off, he was either in a deep state of shock at Atobe actually showing up, or he literally had no idea what Atobe was talking about.
So, to give him more of a chance to understand the situation, Atobe stepped closer and handed him the bouquet of flowers, which Ryoma took without complaint. Atobe's smiled almost completely disappeared; it wasn't like the freshman to do anything even remotely similar to this without his usual acerbic remarks.
"Prior to your leaving for America," Atobe explained, before he actually realized that he was explaining himself for something that should have been obvious. "There was a common interest between us. Ore-sama was interested in yourself, you showed an interest in Ore-sama. I have come to act upon those interests, and to set forward on the course of wooing you, as any true gentleman would."
Common interest? What in the world was Atobe talking about? He seemed under the distinct impression that something had happened that Ryoma was almost entirely certain did not happen... Ryoma knew Atobe was egotistical, but really? To invent something this ridiculous seemed... well... ridiculous. Still, Ryoma was struck by what seemed almost like sincerity in Atobe's voice as he explained, and it was enough of a slap in the face to get his mind working again, at least enough to construct a decent insult.
Snorting when Atobe referred to himself as a "gentleman," Ryoma shifted his weight and stared at the flowers he was now holding for a moment before looking up at Atobe skeptically. "You make no sense at all, Monkey King," he commented flatly, looking at Atobe for another minute before turning his back and beginning to walk away. "I'm not interested. Mada mada da ne."
Having grown up surrounded by politics and learning how to act in such situations, Atobe knew immediately that he was being snubbed and that he had to show absolutely no reaction else he would be gossiped about for a week. So, almost immediately after Echizen turned his back (even before he finished speaking) Atobe had turned as well and was walking back to his car.
As soon as he was seated and the car had pulled away from Seishun Gakuen, Atobe had his phone out and was talking to the head of security of the Atobe Mansion. "Hello? Yes, this is Atobe Keigo. Yes, I need for you to investigate and individual for me. Yes. No. Name is Echizen Ryoma. Make sure he does not know anything. I'll need a schedule of normal activities by this time next week. Good, thank you. Goodbye."
Echizen Ryoma had made a mistake, and Atobe Keigo was determined to show him just how much of a mistake it was before returning the courtesy. Echizen had no idea what he was up against, and the winner would be Atobe.
Meanwhile, Ryoma was still feeling rather overwhelmed, and when he heard Atobe retreat, stopped, unsure of what to do with himself. Ryoma liked to consider himself a confident, intelligent individual, but at this strange turn of events, he was completely at a loss. Was Atobe really intent on... on "wooing" him? Why? I simply didn't make any sense. For heaven's sake, he hadn't even spoken to, seen Atobe in over three years! This was simply outlandish... ridiculous.
Still, as Ryoma stared down at the flowers he realized he was still holding, he felt himself blush slightly. No one had ever before given him... But that was stupid! Mentally, he slapped himself, that was ridiculous, as well, and he certainly wasn't going to be swayed by the gifts and sweet words of an egomaniac like Atobe. Forcing himself to behave normally, he tossed the flowers onto a bench before returning to the court to collect his racquet. Blinking as if nothing had happened, he turned to Kikumaru, the closest Regular to him at the moment. "Well, are we starting?"
Kikumaru stared back at him for minute before asking, "...Ochibi, what was that all about?" It was at this point that Ryoma realized that the entirety of the tennis club was still staring at him, and, in another sudden rush of embarrassment, he tipped his hat a little lower to hide his blush and shrugged, turning to walk briskly off the court with a "Hell if I know." With nothing else really to do with himself, he walked to the table which listed the matches, looking blankly at the names of the people he would be defeating in the near future. For now, he had to concentrate on his tennis, he couldn't lose his focus. Damn Atobe for turning up and being insane at the worst possible time... But for now, tennis. He could ponder what exactly the hell was going on later, once he could legitimately wear his favourite jacket again.
Exactly one week later Atobe woke up with a list of normal activities of one Echizen Ryoma sitting on his desk and a message on his cell phone that had been left at 1:29 in the morning by a private number. He began to look over the schedule as he dialed his voicemail. He was greeted by a voice he hadn't been expecting.
"Atobe, you really should inform your men that they have a great deal to learn about data gathering. Sadaharu and I have conferred, and decided that we are both curious at to your intentions towards Echizen Ryoma, and that you should know he will be visiting the sports store closest to his house today after his tennis practice is over because he is in need of grip tape." There was a pause. "Yukimura and Sanada also say hello."
Atobe snapped his phone shut and stared at it, the list of activities completely forgotten. He finally decided that the source was reliable, and he would apparently be taking a trip to a sports store after practice today.
Life felt significantly more bright and sunny once Ryoma was comfortably back on the Regulars, and practice took his mind off of the bizarre incident with Atobe a week ago. After thinking on it for some time, Ryoma had simply been unable to come up with any sort of explanation, so he pushed it from his mind and concentrated solely on tennis, and, for the amusement factor, harassing that Junior named Arai who had given him a hard time years ago and who, by some chance, was now a Regular.
Today, particularly, Ryoma was feeling content with the way life was; he had little homework and the weather was nice, and so, after practice, decided to stop by the tennis store in order to buy some new grip tape and a few new balls for screwing around at home. It was on the way, after all, and he had been needed to re-wrap his racquet for some time now. So, once practice ended, Ryoma bid everyone who bothered to speak to him goodbye and refused a ride home from Momo-sempai and, at a rather leisurely pace, made his way to the sports store.
Atobe was off the courts and into the locker rooms as soon as he ended practice. He was farther away from the store than Echizen was, so he had to cut his normal cleaning and primping routine short in order to make it to his car in time to still catch the other boy at the store. He was aware that the club members were all staring at him as if he were insane, and the Regulars all looks quite curious (there was sure to be an interrogation later, one that Atobe would do his utmost to avoid) but acted as if they did not exist.
During the drive, Atobe did his best to properly style his hair, but without products and enough space to spread out, the best he could do was a mere shadow of its normal glory.
However, it all payed off in the end, because Echizen Ryoma was indeed in the store when Atobe arrived. Under the pretense of actually needing to be in the store, Atobe walked in and wandered towards the the left side, close to where Echizen was examining grip tape, but far enough away that Echizen wasn't going to notice him right away.
Choosing good grip tape wasn't exactly the most challenging task in the world, and, after a few moments' deliberation, Ryoma decided that the more inexpensive option was good enough, and turned to head towards the front of the store to make his purchases. However, he was startled and rather unpleasantly surprised to find none other than Atobe standing just behind him.
It took him a minute to regain his senses and find his voice - after all, this was the second time Atobe had shown up in the week Ryoma had been back in Japan! But he managed somehow, and, raising an eyebrow, crossed his arms. "I would have thought a place like this would have been too humble for your great self," he commented, looking at Atobe somewhat sidewardly from underneath the brim of his hat. "Don't you have servants to do your shopping for you?" Hopefully, he was wrong, hopefully, he just happened to run into Atobe here... but the smug look on his face gave Ryoma the sinking feeling that either fate was against him or Atobe was indeed following him,
Atobe saw the challenge and answered it with a raised eyebrow and his signature charming smile. "Ore-sama sometimes finds that his preferred store does not carry exactly what ore-sama is looking for. And ore-sama does not have servants shop for his personal property, as ore-sama is quite capable of shopping for himself."
Atobe glanced down at the grip tape Echizen was holding. "Ore-sama does not suggest buying that brand. The drop in price also suggests a drop in quality, one that will become quite apparent after several days of practice when you realize you must replace it again. Ore-sama suggests this brand," he pointed to the tape next to it, "which is marginally more expensive but lasts a great deal longer."
Ryoma looked on skeptically, ignoring Atobe's comment about his product choice. "What exactly is it that you're looking for, then?" he asked doubtfully before regretting it. Why had he even started a conversation with Atobe anyway? Of all the bad decisions... But really, there was no reason he had to keep it up, and so he turned on his heel and continued towards the cashier, hoping against hope that Atobe wasn't planning on following him. "... Never mind. I don't have time for you, Monkey King." Hopefully, hopefully this would be the end of it...
Atobe was only a step behind Echizen when he began to walk. "Ore-sama came here because ore-sama also needed to look at grip tape, and this store has a very wide variety." Atobe was next to Echizen, and made sure he wasn't able to be left behind. "Ore-sama also wanted to see you again, and was hoping that you would be here." There was no need to mention that he had been tipped off by one of Echizen's own teammates about the younger boy's presence.
That was exactly what Ryoma had been afraid of. Somehow, some way, Atobe had known where he was going to be this afternoon, and that, in and of itself, was mildly terrifying. The fact that Atobe wanted to see him badly enough to not only stalk him but go out of his way to meet him made the terror elevate from mild to moderate, and Ryoma was really hoping that there was no reason for it to move into the "highly terrifying" category. "I hardly see how you survived while I was in America," he commented sarcastically, placing his intended purchases on the counter for the cashier. Hopefully Atobe wasn't planning on following him home...
"Ore-sama did his best to survive without your scintillating company," Atobe replied with a roll of his eyes. Judging by the look he received from Echizen, this hadn't gone unnoticed. But in reality, one could only like a person only so much before their not-so-pleasant personality began to intrude on how much one enjoyed spending time with them.
However, when Echizen stepped forward and put the grip tape on the counter as his purchase, Atobe had his wallet out before he even thought of reaching for his own money. "Ore-sama will pay."
Just when Ryoma was beginning to be reassured that Atobe was only doing this whole charade to antagonize him, he went and did something crazy again. He would have tried to swat Atobe and his money away if it wasn't for the fact that he was shocked beyond the ability to move, and only when he was handed the bag with his purchase in it did he have the sense to take it. Automatically, he moved aside for the next person in line with Atobe still following him, but it took him another good minute to be able to form a decent comeback. "What, are you planning on walking me home, too?" he asked with a roll of his eyes, already beginning to leave the store and praying that Atobe wasn't going to follow through with that challenge. "You're more like the 'lost puppy king.'" Hopefully, with enough insults, he'd take the hint... Ryoma wasn't sure why he had even been the tiniest bit flattered at the first odd occurrence with Atobe, because, really and truly, he was just annoying.
Atobe very nearly answered yes, he would be walking Echizen home, but he could also see that the younger boy was very nearly at his limits, and Atobe knew that it was his job as the older and more responsible one to know when and where lines needed to be drawn.
"Unfortunately, ore-sama does have other matters to attend to, and you most certainly do too. And walking one's boyfriend home is usually reserved for a more formal date," Atobe replied. "Enjoy the grip tape, and ore-sama really does suggest the other brand for next time. Until then, Echizen Ryoma."
Atobe returned to his waiting car on that note, counting today as a small victory that would hopefully lead to many more.
Ryoma was filled with relief when Atobe said he was leaving, and spoke not another word as the obnoxious captain finally, finally left him be. He would go home, take a nice, long bath, re-wrap his racquet, and watch TV or something, anything to take his mind off of this stupid run-in and this whole stupid ordeal.
It wasn't until he had seen Atobe's car drive away that he realized that Atobe had not only referred to their meeting as a date, but he had also referred to Ryoma as his boyfriend. He then proceeded to bang his head against the nearest wall.
The next day, Atobe arrived punctually (if a bit early) at school and if he was acting a bit more flashy that usual, well who was going to complain? It wasn't until he had taken his seat and looked up to see all the third years fromt he Hyoutei regulars clustered around his desk that he realized they had come for their answers, and wouldn't be leaving until they received them.
"So, Atobe," Oshitari began, grinning. "There are no secrets between teammates, right? Would you like to tell us about the pressing matter you had to so abruptly rush away to yesterday?"
Atobe looked back up into his face, striving for confidence. "I had a meeting, if not a very extravagant one."
"And who was so important for you to meet that you would even rush away without looking your best?" Of course they must have set Oshitari to do the grilling ahead of time.
"My boyfriend," Atobe replied, adding a glare for good measure. Because in the end it really wasn't any of their business.
"No, no, no! Who is it Atobe?!" Gakuto jumped in.
"Who is none of your concern--"
"Echizen Ryoma? Really Atobe?!" Atobe jumped, then looked down, only to see that Jirou had his cell phone and had it up to his ear. Obviously listening to his voicemail (and this was one of the few times Atobe implicitly trusted Jirou with such information) while Atobe was distracted.
"Nuh uh! Really? I gotta ask, hold on, keep him away from me!" And then Gakuto was off texting a mile a minute while Shishido and Oshitari held him back. Atobe finally broke through, and grabbed the phone away quickly, pulling up a horrifying text message to one Kikumaru Eiji.
"ha, hyoutei won again, b/c ur freshman loves atobe & not ur captain!
Having spoken to no one since the day before, Ryoma had absolutely no frame of reference nor any explanation as to why his classmates began to whisper when they thought he couldn't hear them as he passed them on his way to school, or why upperclassmen were pointing at him constantly as he entered the gates and made his way to the courts. He could think of no reason why he should excite this much attention all of a sudden, or really, why he should excite any attention at all, and he was about ready to pull his hair out already by the time he got to practice that morning.
He changed quickly, with the intention of asking someone what the hell was going on, but no sooner had he stepped out of the locker room than had Kikumaru nearly tackled him, wide eyed and followed by the rest of the Seigaku regulars and then some. "Ochibi, is it true?!"
"What?" Ryoma asked exasperatedly, made rather uncomfortable by the undivided attention of so many people whose attention he, at the moment, really didn't want.
"That you're dating Atobe!" Kikumaru replied, as if that should have been obvious. "I can't believe it!"
"What?!" Ryoma repeated, though this time more out of shock than irritation.
"Look!" Kikumaru insisted, shoving his phone at Ryoma, who snatched it from him with urgency brought on by a day utter confusion and annoyance. A chain of text messages was visible on the screen, and Ryoma read, desperate for some explanation.
"ha, hyoutei won again, b/c ur freshman loves atobe & not ur captain!"
"wut r u talkin about??"
"atobe says ur freshman is his bf"
At that point, Ryoma decided he had had enough, and flipped the phone shut with some vehemence, shoving it back at Kikumaru, saying nothing. What was Atobe doing going around telling people they were dating?! That was not okay.
Kikumaru, however, seemed to take his silence to be a concession. "So it is true?! Ochibi, what are you thinking, fraternizing with the enemy~?" he cried overdramatically. "I could understand dating someone from another team, but--"
He was cut off by Ryoma abruptly standing up and walking over to his bag, where he withdrew his own cell phone and dialed Tezuka's number. He was going to get Atobe's number, and when he did get ahold of him, Atobe was not going to hear the end of this.
Atobe heard his phone ring the first time right before his first class was about to start. He took one look, didn't recognize the number, so he put it through to voicemail: if whoever it was desperately needed to talk to him, they could leave a message, and if it was a wrong number, they wouldn't be bothering him again.
It rang again during the break between his first and second period classes. Atobe looked at the phone again, once again didn't recognize the number, and repeated his previous actions. The third time it rang (in the middle of his second period class) he put the phone on silent and apologized to the teacher.
At the end of lunch, he had twenty missed calls. By the end of the school day, the number of missed calls had tripled. They were all from the same unknown number.
So, as he was walking to the tennis clubhouse, he dialed the number and was vaguely amused to be put through to the voicemail box. With a sigh, he began talking at the tone, as the tinny voice on the other end of the phone instructed him. "Hello, this is Atobe Keigo. Ore-sama has no idea why you've been calling, but if you so desperately need to speak to ore-sama, my tennis practice ends at five and ore-sama will be available for calls after six o'clock." And with that he snapped the phone shut and turned it off.
When Regular practice ended at five, Ryoma was entirely sick and tired of everyone questioning a choice he hadn't even made. No matter who he was practicing against, everyone seemed intent on questioning him between rallies, "So, when did you start dating Atobe? How did it happen? Is that why he came here before?" Momo even had the gall to ask him if Atobe was as good in bed as he was at tennis, and even if he had been joking, that pushed Ryoma over the edge. No one was able to return any of Ryoma's serves for the rest of practice, and Ryoma left without even changing in a silent huff.
It wasn't until after he had gotten home and bathed and changed that Ryoma bothered to check his phone to find that he had one missed call and one missed voicemail from the number he had only learned earlier that day belonged to his self-proclaimed "boyfriend." Unable to resist, Ryoma set his homework aside and dialed voicemail, listening to the brief message before dialing the now-memorized number for the sixty-first time that day. A glance to the clock told him that it was indeed after six; Atobe better pick up the phone, because Ryoma had a day full of irritation bottled up inside of him, and goddamnit, he was going to blow it all at Atobe no matter how many calls it took.
Atobe had his phone out and waiting at exactly six, as he had promised his mysterious serial caller. That did not mean he did not have other things to do, so it was technically sitting on his desk while he worked away at homework that needed to be done, and he hoped the call would only take a few minutes, because the amount of math homework his teacher had assigned was ghastly.
So, when the phone began to ring, Atobe immediately dropped his pen and had it to his ear in record time. "Hello, Atobe Keigo speaking."
"Oi," Ryoma replied in regular impolite fashion, and he was surprised at how much pure acerbic irritation was already seeping into his voice. "What have you been telling people about me, Monkey King?" Atobe better damn well have a good answer, because Ryoma was desperately feeling the need to throttle someone, and because that wasn't a possibility through the phone, things were looking bad for Karupin.
"Ore-sama has told only what he feels like telling people. If certain nosy individuals have come to untrue conclusions, how is ore-sama to blame?" Atobe replied, seeing no reason to lie about the situation. The sooner Echizen opened his eyes to what he should be doing, the better.
Ryoma narrowed his eyes, despite the fact that Atobe obviously couldn't see him. "I was under the impression that usually people were in agreement about their relationships before throwing around stupid words like 'boyfriend.'" Honestly, he had heard that word so many times today he was surprised it didn't make him sick. "In case I haven't been clear enough, or in case you're too stupid to understand me, I'll say it again. I'm not interested in you. Leave me alone." And with that, he closed his phone with a loud snap and set it aside, as if being unable to see it would somehow make the problem previously on the other end of the line go away.
Atobe was shocked, to say the least. Echizen Ryoma had just hung up on him, made an accusation and then refused to hear if Atobe had anything to say in response. He had been the epitome of rudeness, and Atobe was not going to let that stand. So, he called him right back, not surprised at all when he was put into voicemail after only one sound of the dial tone.
"Listen to me, Echizen, " Atobe began, not expecting the vehemence that accompanied his words. "If you had bothered to actually listen to what I had to say, instead of being a brat and feeling like you had to get the last word, I would have told you that I had not planned on mentioning your name at all to my teammates and waited until we had resolved everything. But, since you've obviously shown how you feel about the matter, I will do the same and will not be 'leaving you alone' as you've so eloquently put it. I will be seeing you tomorrow after your practice ends, unless you can politely convince me otherwise."
It wasn't until Atobe had ended the message and turned back to his homework that he realized he hadn't used ore-sama once in his message.
When Ryoma noticed later that evening that he had a message from Atobe, he deleted it without listening to it.