Title: Present Surprise
Author: Queen Momoko
Disclaimer: I don't own PoT, but oh how I wish I did. I would be the happiest person alive to own such shininess. So don't sue, because I have nothing.
The reddish hues of evening filled the locker room with a cozy light. The silence enveloped the only person still left waiting. Practice had ended an hour previously and al of the members had already left, save two. The one who was sitting happily in the silence and the other who had yet to come to collect his things from his locker were the only two left before the locker room could be locked up for the night.
Fuji let his head fall back against the wall so that the last of the sun's rays could shine on his face. The day's practice hadn't been as exciting as some of the previous ones. After all, there had been no new Inui juice to try out or to make others try out. But he had had a good match between Oishi and himself. And the silence that he now found himself bathed in was refreshing.
Tezuka blinked as he opened the door of the locker room to find Fuji seemingly asleep sitting on the bench. The light from the window lightened his hair forming a halo around his head. Fuji's ever-present smile instead replaced with just a slight curving of his lips. The corner of Tezuka's mouth twitched up a little at the sight of the teenage tensai before him, before he proceeded into the room to collect his belongings.
"Fuji," Tezuka began once he was firmly facing his locker. "What are you still doing here?"
"Saa, did you enjoy the view Tezuka?" Fuji's voice carried a smile over to Tezuka. Tezuka's movements paused for a second before continuing to pack his bag. "Well, since you asked, I have something for you."
"And what would that be?" Tezuka asked as he closed his locker and turned to face Fuji. Fuji had taken the time to rise from the bench and stand in front of Tezuka, hands behind his back, with a grin spilling over his face. Fuji opened his eyes and let his heavy-lidded gaze lock with Tezuka's steady look.
"Here," Fuji said, as he thrust a small wrapped box into Tezuka's hands. With that said he grabbed his things and headed the locker room door, calling out over his shoulder before he left. "It's a present and you're not allowed to open it until you get home."
Tezuka stood unmoving looking down at the pink wrapped box in his hands, the question of what the present was for was left unanswered. It was too late for a birthday present, but yet it was still too early for a Christmas present. The box was far too large and light for it to be holding a book. Tezuka winced slightly as he looked at the pink wrapping once more, glad that Fuji had waited until everyone had left before giving it to him. Placing the box into his bag, Tezuka locked the locker room and headed home.
Tezuka sat staring at the pink box before him wondering what exactly he should do with it. Fuji wouldn't have given him anything that could hurt him. On the other hand, anything from Fuji had to be taken carefully. The boy loved to see people suffer far too much for a person to blindly open anything that was given to them by him. There was also a great chance that this could be something embarrassing, especially if he considered Fuji's warning to wait until he got home.
A slight scowl crossed Tezuka's face as he got to thinking about his hesitance. He lightly cut through the tape at the edges and neatly unwrapped the pink paper, leaving a brown box sitting harmlessly on his desk. The box was quickly opened and the gift pulled out to sit on his desk. The nine-inch tall doll stared at him. Tezuka felt a shiver travel down his spine. The resemblance of the doll the person was just uncanny. Pulling out his cell phone, Tezuka dialed Fuji's number. Fuji's voice answered on the third ring.
"Moshi moshi, Tezuka. To what do I owe this pleasure of having our great buchou call me?"
Tezuka looked at the plush doll that was staring at him. "What is it?"
"Maa, I thought it looked just like me."
"Why did you give it to me?"
"Well," Fuji paused, during which Tezuka heard the sound of Fuji falling back on his bed. "I thought you might be lonely there. So I decided to give that to you. Just think of it as an early birthday present. Saa, I have to go, I believe that nee-chan just got home. Ja."
Tezuka could practically see Fuji grinning at the phone he had just turned off. Sighing, he stared some more at the plushie as he turned his own phone off. What was he going to do with nine-inch plushie that looked just like Fuji? He looked around his room. While it was lightly decorated, he liked it this way. Unfortunately that meant there were very few places to place this gift. The only spots that Tezuka could see about putting it would be either on his bed, on his desk, or in his closet. The last choice was out because of Fuji's habit of dropping by unannounced, leaving either his bed or his desk.
Nodding with his decision, Tezuka disposed of the box and the wrapping paper in the trash before working on his homework, with the chibi-Fuji doll watching over his work from atop Tezuka's books.
Tezuka finished toweling his hair dry as he walked into his room. Draping the towel across the chair, he put his glasses on. After getting dressed, Tezuka went over to his bag. Only to find the Fuji-plushie, which before had been sitting on the books on his desk, now sitting firmly on the top of his bag. Tezuka paused for a moment before picking up the plushie and placing it firmly back on his desk. As he left his room to head off to school, he looked back once more to make sure that the plushie was still sitting on the desk, where he had placed it.
The day passed uneventfully for Tezuka. Classes continued with their usual boring drone and the afternoon practice was as lively as ever. Tezuka watched over the organized chaos of practice with a critical eye, being sure to issue orders when needed. In fact, only once had Fuji looked over at Tezuka with an unreadable expression during practice before smiling amicably at him. So when practice ended, Tezuka and Fuji left together, leaving Oishi to lock up.
The pair walked out of the school in a companionable silence. Tezuka's long strides were slightly shortened, while Fuji's pace was a little faster, keeping the two in a seemingly synchronized walk out of the school and down the street.
"Where is it?" Fuji asked, breaking the silence.
"On my desk," Tezuka replied with only a slight sideways glance at his walking partner.
"So, did you play with it?"
Fuji's smile remained as innocent as ever as they continued down the street, but Tezuka caught a flicker of amusement in the twitch of Fuji's lips. He could tell that the tensai was trying to gauge how far he could carry this line of questioning with him.
"Did you sleep with it?"
Tezuka continued to walk, ignoring Fuji's last question.
"Well, I'll see you tomorrow," with a slight wave, Fuji split off from Tezuka heading towards his own house. Tezuka gave a brief nod towards Fuji and settled back into his regular stride.
Tezuka called out when he got home and was greeted by a rush of little pounding feet and squeals. Tezuka's lips quirked up into a small smile as the two little girls dashed out to the entry and grabbed onto Tezuka's legs. After each gave him a hug on their respective leg, they both slipped on their shoes and ran outside. The two little girls were his mother's high school friend's children. Since she was staying with them for a week, the two little girls would also be regular features as well.
The first thing that Tezuka noticed when he entered his room was that the doll was no longer on his desk. Tezuka stopped in his tracks to think back to the morning. He was fairly positive that he had set the doll on his desk. Yet no where on the desk was the doll located. In fact, it had somehow managed to make its way across his room and onto his pillow.
After placing his bag down, Tezuka walked over to the plushie and picked it up. It didn't appear as if it had any type of mechanized parts to it to allow it to walk. Taking another survey of his room, he found nothing else out of place. The thought of that his mother had moved it crossed Tezuka's mind, but it was quickly dismissed. After all, what reason would his mother have for coming into his room and then only touch the plushie? Eyeing the plushie once more, he set it back on his desk before beginning that night's homework.
That night, Tezuka's normally uneventful dreams had little chibi-Fuji plushies appearing randomly. As that Wednesday morning dawned bright and clear, Tezuka frowned. While he had slept the whole night through, a sense of anxiety wouldn't leave him. Pushing that feeling aside, Tezuka began his morning routine and got ready for school.
On his way back to his room from showering, Tezuka heard a crash coming from his room. Jogging over to his room, Tezuka walked in to find his normally perfectly neat room in a state of semi-chaos. Scattered across his floor were pens and some papers, which had once been on his desk. The other thing that had managed to find its way off of the desk was the plushie. It lay on it's stomach half-way across the room looking like it was crawling over to his bag.
Tezuka picked up the papers and pens that had fallen. That done, Tezuka looked thoughtfully at the plushie. The idea of the plushie being the culprit of the messy room, was the first thought that appeared in Tezuka's mind. But just as quickly as it entered, it was also dismissed. How could a plushie, with no robotics, somehow walk or pull itself across the room? Making his way over to the pluhie, he picked it up and looked at it again. He had just placed the doll back on his desk in its original position, when his watch beeped, letting him know that it was time to leave.
That day Tezuka tried to focus his attention on his classes, but instead found it wandering onto the mystery of the moving plushie. By the time of the afternoon's practice, Tezuka was slightly annoyed. He hadn't paid as much attention in class as he should have and he hadn't been able think of any possible reasons for how it kept getting moved. That practice many of the members of the tennis club gave Tezuka a little wider berth than usual. The practice quickly ended and the members broke apart to head home.
As Tezuka walked home, he looked at Fuji out of the corner of his eye. The overwhelming suspicion that Fuji had something to do with it wouldn't leave him. But Tezuka could get nothing from Fuji's expression or his gait. Fuji wouldn't have been able to sneak into his house at those times and move the doll. Still, Fuji was the one who had given him the doll. He could have done something to the doll before passing it off onto Tezuka himself.
"So what do you think of it?"
Responses of 'It's evil and possessed' and 'I hate it' to lying and saying 'its fine' passed through his mind in a fraction of second. Instead Tezuka settled on a small grunt that didn't give any of his inner discomforts away to his walking companion. Fuji opened his mouth as if to ask another question, but then promptly shut it and just smiled. As the two were about to part, Fuji's smile grew even wider.
"Sleep well tonight, Tezuka. You looked a little tired today." With that said, Fuji left Tezuka to continue his walk alone.
Tezuka was much relieved when he arrived at his room and found the plushie still in the same spot that he had put it in this morning. Tezuka shook his head at his own anxiety. Sitting down at his desk, Tezuka began his homework. Though normally Tezuka would have gathered all the needed information from the class lecture, Tezuka had to read a few of the subjects that he hadn't quite managed to listen to. After finishing reading his English book, he placed it uncaringly on the desk. Upon hitting the desk, a "Tezu-chan" could be heard from a frighteningly familiar voice.
Tezuka froze from rubbing his eyes to stare at the desk. The doll which had been dislodged when Tezuka had to actually take out his books to read them, now sat with his English book partially resting on its stomach. Tentatively reaching out, Tezuka picked up the plushie and squeezed its stomach.
"Tezu-chan," the doll squeaked out again in Fuji's voice. Tezuka felt a shiver travel down his spine. Whether the shiver was from the fact that he had just been called Tezu-chan or because it was Fuji's voice that had done it coming out of a plushie, Tezuka wasn't sure. Both thoughts were slightly frightening as he got to thinking about it. He replaced the doll back on his desk and left.
Hours later, Tezuka returned from his long walk, slightly more emotionally gathered than he had been before. As he neared his room, he felt his anxiety rise again wondering if the doll had been moved again. But everything was as he had left it when he eventually returned. So he quickly finished his homework and proceeded to bed, hoping that a good night's rest would give him a better day tomorrow.
When Tezuka finally managed to drift off to sleep, plush Fujis ran everywhere. Eventually the millions of little plushies joined together to form one super large Fuji plushie that was so large that it seemed like Tezuka was the plushie for the doll. The giant doll's plastic eyes stared down at Tezuka and from it's cloth sewn mouth, the most frightening thing issued forth.
The words Tezu-chan were still vibrating through Tezuka's mind as he sat up in bed. A sheen of sweat covered his body and his breathing was heavy. He unclenched his hands from his sheets. Looking back down at his pillow, Tezuka saw the creature of his nightmare laying harmlessly on his pillow. It had somehow managed to make its way onto his bed and he had obviously rolled over onto it, causing it to speak. Gingerly picking up the stuffed person, he placed it back on the desk. Glancing at his alarm clock as he made his way back to his bed, he saw that it was only three in the morning. Sighing, Tezuka rubbed a hand through his hair, before sitting at the edge of his bed to watch the doll for the rest of the morning. It was only three more hours until he had to get up anyway.
As Tezuka stood in the shower later that morning, he let the hot water wash over his face hoping that it would take away his sleepless night. Finally he managed to convince his tired body to make its way out of the shower and finish getting ready. The time seemed to drag on forever before his first class of the day started. It was only when Tezuka was reaching into his bag to pull out that night's homework that he saw it. The doll had somehow managed to make its way into his bag and to school. He'd been too out of it in the morning to notice that it was missing from the desk. Tezuka let out a silent sigh, before pulling out the required work and ignoring the doll in the bag.
That afternoon at practice, Tezuka glared at everyone, causing it to be most quiet practice that Seigaku had ever seen. Oishi's attempt at getting Tezuka to possibly get some rest, were ignored. Even Fuji, who usually ignored all of Tezuka's frowns, kept his distance and merely eyed Tezuka thoughtfully. After practice, Tezuka left the school alone and quickly made his way back to his house.
Once he safely located in his room, he pulled the plushie out his bag and set it back on the desk. He then tried to do the work that had been discussed in classes that day. Yet as sat staring at the various bits of writing, his sleep-deprived mind just whirred endlessly without any progress. Finally frowning at the work that he hadn't done, Tezuka set down the pen. Eyeing the plush doll once more, Tezuka went to bed early, hoping to make up for the previous night's unrest.
A soft creaking sound was what Tezuka early the next morning. Sitting up in bed, Tezuka turned on his bed-side light. With the sudden influx of light, the two little girls, froze. Tezuka stared at the wide-eyed little girls, who were holding childrens flashlights.
"We… we weren't doing anything," the slightly older girl squeaked out.
"Yeah, we weren't doing anything. Especially not doing anything for Fuji-niisan…" the younger said, trying to hide herself behind her older sister.
"Shh," the older girl hissed back at her. "We weren't supposed to let him know that Fuji-niisan told us to make sure he wouldn't forget the doll. Whoops."
Tezuka eyed the two girls, shook his head and sighed. He knew that Fuji was somehow behind it.
"B-but you know that it's really mean to leave it all alone," As the older girl was talking she grabbed the doll off the desk and held it out to Tezuka, who was still on the bed. "They need love and company." Tears slowly filled the girl's eyes.
Tezuka sighed and held out his own hand. She quickly stifled her tears and placed the doll in Tezuka's hand. A smile spread out over her face as she dashed forward and gave Tezuka a hug with a "Thank you, Tezuka-niisan." That said, she ushered her younger sister out of the room with another backward smile.
Tezuka looked at the doll that was now in his hands. Shaking his head slightly, Tezuka turned off the light and lay back down to sleep. For the rest of the morning Tezuka dreamt of a chibi-Fuji and a chibi-Tezuka playing tennis. The plushie held tightly in his arms.