A/n: @_@ it took me SOOOO long to update this fic ^^; sorry.

Love Zone

Chapter 4: His Win

He found it hard to breath. Not just breathing… but he found it hard to move as well. His eyes seemed to have been glued to Fuji's. Even his hands refused to budge from their tight grip on Fuji's bare shoulders.

A few strands of his own hair obstructed his sight as he loomed over the smaller boy. A cold droplet of sweat threatened to fall from his nose while he opened his mouth in response to his almost desperate need for air.

The silence was almost as unbearable as the tightening on his chest. He continued to stare down. Somehow, during the course of a few minutes, their positions had been reversed yet he was not quite aware as to when and how. Everything had happened so quickly that his memory was almost a blur.

The loud noise came again, yet they remained frozen-- him straddling Fuji's lithe body while Fuji lay quietly, eyes half-lidded and mouth slightly parted… and just as dazed as he was.

It was on the third doorbell sound that they finally regained some shreds of their senses, but the sight of Fuji's bare body invitingly spread under him was so tempting that Tezuka almost lowered himself again to resume what they had started. Summoning the last ounce of his will, he finally cleared his throat.

Fuji seemed to have regained his composure as well, for the confused look was now replaced with a smile, although somewhat shaky.

"That must be them…"

Tezuka furrowed his brows briefly in a momentary confusion.

"Aa, them," Fuji repeated in a subdued voice, reminding Tezuka that he wasn't the only one displeased by the unwelcome disturbance.

The doorbell rang for the fourth time. He finally loosened his grip on Fuji's shoulders, noting the reddish mark it left on the creamy skin. He righted himself in the sofa, averting his gaze from the other boy let he foolishly succumb to desire again. He remained silent when Fuji bent to fetch the discarded towel on the floor.

He sat silently. He felt strangely spent and worn out, as if all his emotions suddenly were depleted after the overwhelming passion had been so abruptly doused. He leaned against the sofa, closing his eyes.

"Fuji! Put some clothes on!" it was Kikumaru's frantic voice that made Tezuka open his eyes again. He turned in time to see a slightly flushed Kikumaru dragging Fuji from the doorway where he had been greeting everyone scantily clad in nothing but a small towel around his waist. It hit him as well, that while he had been in daze, people had piled up in the room, every Seigaku regular including a couple of faces that he did not quite recognize.

"I was taking a shower…" Fuji answered, letting himself being ushered away by Eiji.

"What do you mean taking a shower? You told us to come at three! You should have taken a shower earlier nyah!"

Fuji smiled.

"Ah, that's because I was a bit… distracted," Fuji answered, giving Tezuka who still sat quietly on the sofa, a meaningful look before he and Eiji disappeared in the narrow hall.

Tezuka could only sit in the sofa and clench his fists, fully aware that the last look Fuji had sent his way, would bring everyone's unwanted attention towards him. And he knew very well that no satisfying explanation could be ever conjured to answer everyone's unspoken question.

On the marble floor, a broken teacup lay in shattered pieces while a plastic food tray lay a few feet away. A kitten purred as it busily munched on one of the scattered vanilla cookies between its paws. The smell of tea emanated from the soaked sofa covers. But most noticeable of all, dark tea stains were starkly visible on his own white polo shirt, the first three buttons, had been undone.

"I see, so we must have interrupted something."

It was Inui who finally voiced out everyone's thoughts, whose comments have roused varying reactions from everyone. Oishi immediately lunged at Inui, sweating heavily as he attempted to clamp a hand over Inui's mouth. Momo and Kaidoh flushed while Echizen calmly shove his hands on his pockets.

But Tezuka was sure, if he hadn't had a good deal of practice with his patience in dealing with Fuji, otherwise, he would have probably thrown the whole bunch outside the house.

He tightened his jaw, narrowing his eyes at everyone in an unmistakable threatening look. When he stood abruptly, they visibly flinched.

He felt his blood boil, the million emotions he felt at the moment spiraling into threatening heights until he felt as if he would burst. He was angry… at Fuji who mocked his self-control, at everyone who stood there gaping at him, and angry at himself for having been so foolishly weak.

Without a word, he strode to the hall where Fuji and Eiji had disappeared. Two doors faced each other, he turned to the one on the left. The doorknob wasn't locked, which was for the better, for Tezuka wasn't sure if he could have stopped himself from breaking the door had it been locked otherwise.

"Fuji!" he growled as soon as he pushed the door open with such effort that it reverberated on its hinges.

His narrowed eyes searched the room, noting how Eiji stood near the closet, ashen-faced and wide-eyed, one arm frozen in mid-air in the process of handing Fuji a cream-colored shirt, but was too surprised by Tezuka's outburst that he had forgotten what he was about to do.

"T-Tezuka!" Eiji finally managed. Giving Fuji, who sat silently on the bed, a nervous glance, he finally dropped the shirt and sprinted out of the door. "Waah, Fuji, I'm not involved! I'm not involved!"

Tezuka stepped aside in time to allow a bouncing Kikumaru through the door, and as soon as the other's quick footsteps faded through the hall, he turned his attention back to the one who was responsible for his outburst in the first place.

"Aa, Tezuka, did something happen?"

Tezuka could have growled again in frustration. Did something happen? He wasn't even sure what happened, but one thing he knew for sure, his emotions at the moment were too intense to comprehend. And it infuriated him more that Fuji could sit there quietly with a calm smile.

He finally closed the door firmly.

"Party? I don't remember you saying anything about a party," he gritted out, closing the gap between them until he stood only a few inches from the edge of the bed where Fuji sat.

"Hmm… oh that?" Fuji began, bending to fetch the shirt that Eiji had dropped on the floor and calmly putting it on. "My sister's birthday, she's coming home around 3:30."

"I don't remember you saying anything about a party," he repeated, sending the other boy a sharp look to remind him that his original question was yet to be answered.

Fuji smiled.

"But Tezuka is so anti-social, you'd never come if I told you the details."

With a renewed irritation, Tezuka lifted a hand to grab Fuji's arm, forceful enough so that the other had to take a step forward.

"That's not the point. Is this another one of your schemes Fuji?" he gritted out.

This time, Fuji's smile faded as he opened his eyes. Tezuka loosened his grip on Fuji's arm when he saw something on Fuji's expression that he hadn't expected—slight resentment.

"I don't know what you're so angry about, Tezuka. And whatever it was that possessed you to come an hour earlier, don't blame it on me," Fuji answered, meeting Tezuka's sharp gaze with his own.

Tezuka dropped his hand to his side with a sudden realization that he had been more confused than angry. If anyone was to blame, it was him-- for his own incapability or reigning his emotions when it came to Fuji… for wanting Fuji so much that he could willingly ignore everything else.

But Tezuka was spared from further thoughts when Fuji stepped closer until he could smell Fuji's freshly washed hair under his nose.

"Fuji…" the named seemed to have involuntarily escaped from his lips when Fuji brought his hands to hold the folds of his front shirt. Tezuka was reminded that the first three buttons of his shirt were still undone. He remained silent as if having lost the ability to speak which had become quite a habit of his every time Fuji got close. He held his breath when Fuji's nimble fingers slowly and expertly undid the remaining buttons.

He took a sharp intake of air when Fuji's fingers brushed the tense muscles just below his abdomen, and proceeded to unbuckle the leather belt that held his dark trousers to his lean hips. He remained frozen, his hold on his will slowly ebbing, and he was once again tempted to embrace Fuji and continue where they had left off.

Just when his reason was about to flee once again, tempted beyond limits to kiss the living daylights out of Fuji, the smaller boy took a step away.

"Tezuka… can you step forward please?"

Tezuka absently obliged, a vague feeling of having discarded something as he did so. He took a step closer to Fuji… and the bed that seemed to be emanating an invisible force pulling him closer.

"Ah, thank you Tezuka," Fuji continued, placing a quick kiss on Tezuka's mouth before bending to fetch something off the floor and walking towards the door.

Tezuka stood beside the bed. He felt… suddenly empty… and naked… and it wasn't until he regained his senses again that he realized that that was indeed the case, for save for his undergarments, his shirt and trousers had been discarded at some point. He turned just in time to see Fuji carrying a bundle of clothing (presumably his) walking out of the door.

"It was my fault that you spilled tea on your clothes Tezuka. I'll have it cleaned. It'll be ready in an hour."

Five seconds… before the circumstances finally hit him and he strode to the door in quick steps, but the soft click of the doorknob told him that he was a few seconds too late.

And unless he risked being seen in his underpants, he did not dare walk out of the door.

"FUJI!" he growled, loud enough that he was sure even the guests in the living room had heard him.

And all the answer he got was Fuji's fading humming and carefree footsteps outside the room.

It was thirty minutes later and he still hadn't tired of pacing around the room. And to think that for a second, he had thought Fuji had been as much of a victim as he was…

Tezuka slowly breathed in another attempt to calm his nerves. Self-control was something he had had practice all his life, and although time and again, it was proven that Fuji could so easily crumble what he thought was an invincible mask, he did not want to do anything rash and make a fool of himself much more than he already did.

His grandfather had always told him… that when in doubt, one needs to evaluate things according to priority. First, he needed his clothes, and for that, he had no choice but to wait. Walking down the street wrapped in a blanket was simply out of question. And besides their sizes being quite different, rummaging on Fuji's closet without permission for any clothing that he might be able to wear, was strictly against his principle as well.

He sat on the bed. So wait he should.

Second, he needed to think straight. Reason and even determination were useless against Fuji, that, more or less, had become a proven fact and it was high time for him to stop denying that. And so things considered, he was left with two choices—either wait calmly, or wait impatiently. Deciding that the former was the more sensible choice of the two, he laid himself on the bed, fixing his gaze on the ceiling.

The pillows smelled familiar… distinctly sensual… distinctly Fuji. He closed his eyes, letting the scent calm his senses. It was as if all of him had been attuned to everything that was Fuji… Fuji's body, Fuji's scent, Fuji's lips… every fiber of him remembered how those felt.

He finally closed his eyes, the faint familiar voices from the living room, and the clanking of silverware from the kitchen fading as he slowly nodded off to sleep.

A sharp sound woke him. When he was able to focus his vision, he saw Fuji squatting on the floor picking up a fork.

"Ah sorry, did I wake you up?" Fuji asked with a smile.

"What time is it?" he asked with a frown, the bed giving a soft creak as he pulled himself up to sit against the headboard.

"It's almost 5," Fuji replied after a quick glance at the small alarm clock on the bedside table. "You fell asleep. I thought you'd be hungry," Fuji continued, indicating the glass of orange juice and the slice of cheesecake on a small plate he carried on both hands. He laid them on the bedside table under the lamp. "I dropped the fork, sorry," he apologized, setting the said fork on the table as well.

Tezuka slightly shook his head.

"That's alright, thank you," he answered in a reflex, although realizing too late that just a couple of hours ago, he could have sworn he was about ready to explode in anger. It was beguiling to think that he could sit there calmly and even say words of thanks to Fuji. Maybe the nap really did him some good.

"You're not going to eat yet?" Fuji finally asked when he didn't move from where he sat.

"Fuji, why did you do that?" he finally asked.

"Hmm, did what?"

Tezuka didn't say another word. He knew very well that Fuji knew exactly what he meant.

After a long pause, Fuji finally let out a small laugh.

"Because Tezuka always runs away from me."

Tezuka froze. There was something about Fuji's laughter that made him want to instinctively reach out and hold Fuji against him.

He averted his gaze.

"I… I'm not running away."

"Anyway, the food will get cold Tezuka," Fuji's smile brightened, but Tezuka knew that there was something different about the smile, something forced… something unnatural. Suddenly, it almost seemed as if their roles had been reversed, that it was him who was doing the chasing and Fuji the one running.

"I'm not running away," he said again.

Fuji's smile faded, opening his eyes and sizing Tezuka up as if looking for any trace of truth in those words.

"You are running away. What I say, you don't hear. What you feel, you don't acknowledge," Fuji began. "And what I offer, you won't even take."

"And just what do you offer?!" Tezuka suddenly blurted out.

He was taken aback by the intensity of his own words, with a sudden realization that he had just uttered the one question that had been the cause of all his emotional plagues so far. Just what did Fuji offer? Fuji liked teasing him, enjoyed taunting him… until he wasn't quite sure where they both stood in the unsteady balance of unstable emotions.

While to Fuji, it might have been a game, an amusing game where the winner was to take victory in the end, Tezuka was left to wonder if he even wanted to win or lose. What they've had so far had all been physical, a back and forth tug of war. But he had begun to fear that he wanted something more. He needed much more than physical promise Fuji offered. He demanded something else that was deeper than what Fuji flaunted in front of him… and so he withdrew, fearing that if he dared take even a tiny portion, his own greed would only make him want for more… until he would only be left empty and wanting in the end.

He somewhat appreciated the silence that followed, for he wasn't sure what to say next, until felt something warm against his forehead. Fuji had closed the gap between them and stood so close that Tezuka could feel the warmth of Fuji's chest.

It was a while before Fuji spoke again.

"All of it."

The sound of Fuji's heart beats loud on his ears, he remained still, his forehead pressed against Fuji's chest.

"Fuji…" he murmured caught off guard by the unusual sincerity in Fuji's voice.

"All of it… is yours to take."

"Fuji…" he said again, his hands came to rest at the back of Fuji's knees, giving them a slight nudge forward forcing Fuji to fall kneeling on the edge of the bed between his parted legs. "I'm demanding and possessive," Tezuka finally continued, a slight note of warning in his voice.

Fuji's answer was yet another smile, pressing his smaller body to Tezuka's bare chest.

Tezuka finally lost his resolve to resist, nor did he need to. If Fuji could give everything that he asked for, then that was all the reassurance that he needed. He turned sideways, the mattress shifting when he pushed Fuji's smaller body down. He lowered his head to tentatively kiss Fuji's lips, and when Fuji's mouth met his with equal ardor, he saw no reason to hold back and claimed the other's lips in full. He suddenly felt liberated, and it surprised him how all of his earlier worries were rest assured by only a few words Fuji spoke.

He brought a hand to slowly undo the buttons of Fuji's shirt… and it was then when they heard the knock on the door.

"Syusuke? Syusuke? Your friend's clothes are ready."

Tezuka paused, slowly narrowing his eyes.

"She knows I'm here?" he hissed.

Fuji smiled innocently.

"What are you talking about Tezuka? Of course every one knows you're here."

"Everyone?" he dared to ask, although he already feared the answer that was to come.

Fuji nodded enthusiastically, then those lips, still wet from their shared kisses, curved into a grateful smile.

"Ah, thank you 'neesan. Come in, the door's not locked," Fuji called out.

Never in his life did Tezuka know panic as he did then. He moved himself off Fuji just in time to hear the doorknob being turned and the lights flicked on, expecting a good-looking woman in her early twenties to enter carrying his clothes. And he was partly right; a beautiful woman with features quite similar to Fuji's did enter, carrying his clothes… but what he didn't expect was to catch a glimpse of his teammates hurriedly scurrying away just before the door was fully opened… although Oishi was apparently not quick enough.

His Vice Captain blinked, then turned pale.

"Ah! Te-Tezuka… we weren't eavesdropping! We were just worried since you were so angry a-and," Oishi began nervously, but was pulled to the side by an equally frantic Kikumaru.

"Oishi! Come on! I still want to live!"

When the two disappeared, Yumiko smiled, and handed Tezuka's freshly washed clothes to Fuji's outstretched hand.

"They're all waiting for you outside. Saa, come on, get dressed Tezuka," Fuji urged when the door closed again.

Tezuka could only sit in silence, his fists clenched to his sides. When he didn't answer, Fuji peered closer.

"Eh… Tezuka?"

Tezuka stayed quiet and still… for some reason, he suddenly felt too tired to move.


A/n: um... yeah, thanks for reading ^_^