Tension was thick in the air, almost tangible, as the tennis match progressed. There were faint murmurs, but only occasionally, since most of the spectators were too awed to say much most of the time. The score was six-all, and the tie-break match was currently being played out.
It was a match between Seigaku's captain and resident genius.
Practice, if you went by time, was officially over. No one had actually foreseen Fuji challenging Tezuka. With their captain engaged in a match, there was no way that practice was going to end anytime soon. All the members, even the Regulars, were watching by the sidelines, having abandoned their own matches long ago. Rather, they had stopped when the scores had been five-all, and that had been almost two hours ago.
And then Fuji faltered a step, missing the ball by, as Inui said after the score had been announced, exactly two millimeters.
Fuji, ever-smiling, even now with his eyes open, simply picked up where they had left off. The ball zoomed past the net, then sped back, and forth, and back again. And then, Fuji sent Tezuka a beautiful lob. It was really quite impossible to resist.
Tezuka arched his brow minutely, for that was all the change in expression he was seemingly capable of in public, knowing what Fuji was leading to. How could he not? Still, it would be interesting to see if he could…
He delivered a powerful smash, the twinkle in his eyes visible only to his opponent staring back directly at him.
He was stunned when Fuji stumbled, fell—gracefully, for any movement the tensai made was somehow always executed with perfect elegance, even when he fell—and missed the ball once more.
The score was a distant murmur that barely penetrated the haze in Tezuka's mind. He scowled at Fuji, his expression more stern than normal. For the life of him, Tezuka couldn't fathom why Fuji had given him the last two points. But it would end here. He was not about to win yet another match this way.
The club room was unusually silent as the club and team members packed up and left as quickly as possible. It was just asking for trouble to linger behind when their buchou was glaring more intensely than usual at the tensai who had just lost to him. While some of them did tend to gravitate towards troublesome situations, none of them were actually suicidal, and so the clubroom was left empty within minutes of dismissal, save for Tezuka and Fuji.
Tezuka didn't reply. Instead, the buchou sent a fulminating look in the general direction of Fuji's voice, before returning his dark death-glare to his tennis bag.
"Tezuka, stop being childish."
There was a rustle of cloth, the metallic purr of a zipper, but no reply. Fuji sighed. Sometimes Tezuka could really try his patience. So he tried a different tactic. He finished packing up his things, then hefted the bag onto his shoulder. He made a hiss of pain, then winced and dropped the bag to the floor.
"What's it this time?" Tezuka asked warily, exasperation in his voice. He should have known that Fuji would try something like this. But the tensai was a very good actor, and Tezuka couldn't ignore him without being sure if he was faking it or not.
Fuji massaged his arm, just beneath his shoulder. "I think I injured it when I fell just now," he said with a pained but serenely-smiling expression on his face.
"That'll teach you," Tezuka muttered darkly. "Fuji, when will you stop letting me win?"
Fuji smiled, then shrugged. "What makes you think that I let you win?"
The sharp glare intensified, and Tezuka narrowed his eyes in annoyance. "I'm not as good as Inui, so I can't give you the exact distance, but it's hard not to notice when you keep missing the ball by the same amount.
"What coincidence," Fuji remarked, his voice containing just enough surprise to sound sincere, but at the same time, enough blandness to alert Tezuka.
Tezuka snorted in irritation. "Don't get me started, Fuji."
"Why not?" Fuji replied with a teasing smile. He lifted his bag off the floor slightly, then frowned and turned to Tezuka. "Ne, Tezuka, could you walk me home today?"
"Why?" Tezuka asked, refusing to look up from his almost-packed bag.
"I don't want to strain my shoulder while it's like that." Fuji's voice was suddenly by his ear. "And you're so strong, Tezuka. Surely you can help me with my bag…"
Tezuka started, falling back onto his rear. He blinked in surprise. How had Fuji managed to get all the way over from his end of the room without him knowing? An absent thought flashed by the back of his brain that Fuji would make a very good hunter. Or predator.
He glared at the innocently smiling face that was currently the bane of his life, then picked himself off the floor. It was such an undignified position for a team captain to be in: sprawled across the floor with a sadistic tensai hovering above, smiling like he hadn't just scared ten years off the life of his buchou.
"Tezuka, are you okay?" Fuji asked with feigned concern.
"Yes," he replied tersely. He grabbed his bag angrily and stormed off towards the door.
"Ah, well, I suppose I can manage my bag alone. After all, it might only ruin my future in tennis and cause the defeat of the team if the burden of victory happens to fall to me." He tried to suppress a pained look as he heft the bag onto his shoulder again. "But it's okay," he assured Tezuka, who had one foot out the door.
Fuji smiled inwardly as Tezuka failed to resist the urge to slap his forehead with his hand. The buchou sighed at heaven, probably wondering what he had done to deserve this, then stalked back to Fuji and grabbed the tensai's tennis bag.
"Tezuka," he purred. "You're so kind."
"I must be, since I haven't strangled you yet."
"Buchou, was that actually an attempt at a joke?"
Tezuka ignored him and strode towards the door, clubroom keys clinking in his hand. "Hurry up. I've got to lock the room up."
Fuji smiled to himself and obediently followed Tezuka out the door.
"It's so hot," Fuji proclaimed in a velvet-smooth voice. He plucked at the collar of his shirt and tried to fan some air in. Failing which, he undid the first two buttons and repeated his attempt to avail himself of the heat. "Mm, that feels so much better…"
Tezuka told himself resolutely not to look. It was extremely dangerous when Fuji spoke in that tone. He purposefully looked in front of him, and only in front, ignoring his peripheral vision. Fuji could strip for all he cared.
Strip? He wanted to hit his head against a wall when all he could think off was Fuji slowly, teasingly, slipping button after button out of their holes; Fuji mock-shyly nudging his shirt off, mischievous smile on his face; Fuji unzipping his pants with excruciatingly slow, caressing moves. His cheeks went hot and he looked away from the road before him. Unfortunately, he found himself staring at Fuji.
Fuji took in Tezuka's flushed appearance, and irritated eyes and smiled placidly. He tilted his head back to smile at the sun, flicking a bead of sweat off one side of his neck, acting as if he didn't know what had put that deep pink blush on Tezuka's face.
"You look a little hot, Tezuka," Fuji murmured after awhile. "There's this place along the way that sells really good ice cream and popsicles and desserts. We can go cool off there."
Tezuka didn't say anything, but he didn't object, so Fuji led him to a little stall by the park.
"What would you like? It's my treat, since you're being so sweet, walking me home." He ignored Tezuka's scowl and pointed at various flavours. "This one is really nice if you mix in a bit of that one, and that one over there, with half a scoop of that one."
The last one he pointed at was green, and had it been anyone else, Tezuka wouldn't have been compelled to look at the little flavour cards. He turned a slight shade of green when he added up all the flavours. Who in their right minds would eat yoghurt ice cream mixed with blue cheese ice cream—why was there even a blue cheese flavour in the first place? Heck, what kind of ice cream parlour was this anyway?—and mixed vegetable ice cream and half a scoop of—this one, he had at least expected—wasabi ice cream?
"Fuji, what kind of place is this?"
Fuji smiled—when was he ever not—and shrugged. "They sell all those flavours that you'd never find anywhere else."
"I wonder why that is," Tezuka muttered dryly. He perused the selection of ice creams, no longer trusting Fuji to pick anything out for him—not that he had intended to from the beginning. In the end, he took a cone of the most normal flavour they had, which was choco-vanilla-banana swirl.
When Fuji had decided, the tensai was presented with a pinkish-crimson popsicle. Tezuka did not want to find out what flavour it was. Knowing Fuji, it was most likely something weird, like tomato, or ketchup-Tabasco, or something that no sane person would willingly eat.
Fuji paid, then led Tezuka to one of the park benches shaded by a large tree.
Tezuka decided that the quicker he finished his ice cream, the quicker Fuji would reach home, and the quicker he'd be released from this torment, and so he had finished his scoop of ice cream and was finishing up the cone when he did the stupid and glanced at Fuji. What little bit of waffle cone that remained slipped from his fingers as he stared, enthralled at the sight of Fuji lapping delicately at the tip of the deep rose popsicle.
Fuji pretended not to notice Tezuka staring at him. He innocently swirled his tongue over the glistening tip of his popsicle, then slowly licked up a drop of deep pink that was tracking down the column of the frozen dessert. He ate neatly, making sure that not a single drop managed to reach the thin ice cream stick, his tongue flicking over every inch of the popsicle.
Every now and then, he took a sneak peek of Tezuka from beneath thick lashes, very amused at the darkening crimson stain spreading across his buchou's face. Then Tezuka abruptly looked away. Fuji couldn't have that. After all, there was no point in eating a popsicle in such a manner if no one was watching.
So he gave a little moan of pleasure. "Tezuka, with it so hot outside, this tastes so good."
He noticed Tezuka blushed even more, but still refused to look his way.
"Would you like to try some?" He crooned, offering it towards Tezuka. "It's really nice."
"No thanks," Tezuka muttered, sounding half strangled.
"Are you sure?" Fuji leaned over until Tezuka had no choice but to look at him. "It tastes wonderful." He licked his lips innocently for extra effect.
"Mm, your loss then," Fuji purred, seemingly returning to his seat, yet somehow managing to sit closer to Tezuka. "I'll enjoy it all by myself, since you don't want any.
"You go ahead and do that."
Fuji was glad to see that Tezuka was still looking in his general direction. He parted his lips and sucked gently on the tip of the popsicle, and took in a little bit more of the frozen treat. He saw Tezuka's eyes widen slightly and thought, this is so much fun.
Enjoying torturing Tezuka, he let a faint blush colour his cheeks and he continued eating his popsicle. He paused from the sucking every now and again to lap at the lower end of the popsicle that was starting to melt from the heat. Then as he resuming sucking at his popsicle, he let loose an occasional moan or sigh, cheekbones wonderfully shaded rose-pink.
Tezuka tried, but failed, to tear his eyes away from the beautifully obscene picture of Fuji enjoying his popsicle. For a brief moment, he wondered how it could be that he was becoming jealous of Fuji's popsicle, but then he shook that little thought aside. Enough was enough. Tezuka stood up.
"Fuji, it's getting late. We should hurry."
Fuji paused, reddened lips still tightly wrapped around his popsicle. Then he slowly slid the treat out of his mouth with a wet sucking sound. Tezuka winced slightly as he felt himself go hard at the sound. The tensai smacked his lips together with relish. "It hasn't been that long, Tezuka," he murmured.
Tezuka couldn't help but stare, fixated on Fuji's lips. If he didn't know better, he'd have thought Fuji to be wearing lipstick. The popsicle had dyed his lips a lush shade of pink. On any other boy, it would have looked absolutely ridiculous, but on Fuji…the tensai looked ready to be thrown onto the ground and kissed senseless. And then some. Those kissable lips were moving…
Tezuka mentally shook himself out of those self-destructive thoughts. "Sorry, what did you say?"
Fuji smiled with understanding. "I said that it hasn't been that long since we left school. It's still pretty early."
"I have to be home early today," Tezuka lied, poker-faced. Unfortunately, his skills were no where as good as Fuji's, and the tensai saw through his lie easily enough.
"Mm, alright then." He stood up and continued eating his popsicle as he sauntered off in the direction of his house. Then he turned around and said sweetly, "Tezuka, I thought you had to hurry? Why are you still standing there?"
Tezuka stopped staring at Fuji's ass, blushing that he'd been caught staring—blushing that he'd been staring in the first place—and strode towards Fuji, intent on dropping the tensai off at his house as soon as was humanly possible.
Along the way, Tezuka wondered how Fuji could calmly finish his popsicle in the same manner when walking along public sidewalks. It was one thing to eat like that on a secluded bench beneath a tree, but it was a far different thing altogether to do the same on the streets, where any passer-by could see. Fuji, as far as Tezuka was concerned, had absolutely no shame whatsoever.
They reached Fuji's house in record time, Tezuka having covered the distance in amazing time with his long legs. Fuji had finished his popsicle minutes ago, but was happily sucking on the pale tan-coloured stick.
"You will help me bring my bag to my room, won't you?" Fuji asked, pouting slightly when all Tezuka did was stand at the threshold of the house.
"It's only a short distance. I don't think it'll do your injury any further damage."
"I suppose you're right," Fuji acceded. "Still, come in. It's so hot, I should offer you a drink and a chance to cool off for awhile." He didn't wait for Tezuka to reply, yanking the startled buchou inside instead.
With alarming speed, Fuji shut the door. Tezuka was trapped.
"You might as well help me put my bag in my room, since you're here," Fuji said with a bright smile. "I'll bring you a drink." He smiled at Tezuka, his face revealing nothing but that sunny smile, until the stoic team captain trudged towards his room. Only then did Fuji disappear into the kitchen.
Tezuka set Fuji's tennis bag down and took a seat on the chair positioned before the lone television set in the middle of Fuji's room. How on earth had Fuji managed to get him to walk him home, let alone get him into his room? Tezuka had to give his team mate some credit; Fuji really was a genius.
He stared idly at the assorted species of cacti scattered at various high points in Fuji's room. He was fascinated by the colour of one particular one. It had a brightly-coloured bulb the same shade as Fuji's popsicle. And then a thought entered his mind.
Did such a flavour even exist? He didn't want to speculate too much upon that. Sometimes Fuji ate the weirdest things. So far, the tensai's affection for wasabi sushi had been the most normal habit Tezuka had witnessed.
Thoughts of Fuji's eccentric culinary tastes led to Tezuka wondering just what kind of 'drink' Fuji was preparing for him. He shuddered. Deciding that he wanted to live to enter high school, Tezuka stood up, grabbed his bag, and opened the door.
Fuji was standing just in front of the doorway, hand poised to depress the handle. Then he smiled graciously. "Why, thank you, Tezuka. Why are you carrying your bag?" His smile was innocent and quizzical. "Surely you weren't going to leave just like that? You just got here."
He walked in, leaving Tezuka little choice but to walk back into his room. Fuji nudged his TV remotes aside and placed the tray on the small table before his TV-chair. Then he slipped the bag strap off Tezuka's shoulder and gently took his buchou by the hand and led him to the drinks.
Tezuka eyed the glasses warily. Just because Inui was the club's resident mad juice chef didn't mean that anything Fuji made was safe to drink. He had a feeling that the tensai could be, and was, far worse thank Inui.
"It's just juice, Tezuka."
"So are Inui's concoctions, but that doesn't make it any less dangerous."
"Ah, good point." Fuji reached for his glass and drank deeply from it. "See? Perfectly safe."
Tezuka raised his brow elegantly. "If I recall correctly, you drink all of Inui's juices like that."
"Not all." Fuji placed the glass back onto the tray, his brow furrowing slightly at the memory. "There was the Aozu… Ah, but you were in Germany at that time, so you wouldn't have known."
Oh, kami-sama, Inui had managed to mix up something that could knock even Fuji out? The data tennis player was more dangerous than Tezuka had thought after all.
Fuji handed Tezuka the glass of clear liquid. It was only when the rim of the glass was a breath away from Tezuka's lips that he realized two things: one was that Fuji had somehow managed to coax him into drinking the glass's contents; and two, that said contents were the same shade of fuchsia as Fuji's popsicle had been, which had been the same colour as the cactus on Fuji's windowsill. He hastily handed Fuji back the glass.
"What's in it? Nothing in nature is this colour."
"Flowers are," Fuji replied, but waved the point aside. "I assure you, Tezuka, it's perfectly safe to drink. I drink it all the time." Before Tezuka was able to bring up the issue of Inui's poisonous juices again, Fuji continued, "And so does Yuuta when he comes home, although he likes it far less than I do."
Fuji's brother drank it too? As far as he knew, the elder Fuji brother had inherited all the madness, and that Fuji Yuuta was more or less normal. Grudgingly, he took back the glass. He sniffed it. It smelled…sweet.
"If the colour really bothers you so much, you could just close your eyes and drink it." Tezuka only glared at Fuji. Fuji shrugged, "Come on, just one sip?"
Fuji stood up and removed Tezuka's glasses, placing them beside the tray.
"What are you do-"
Then the tensai covered Tezuka's eyes with one hand, and took the drink away with the other. "Mm, now say 'ah', buchou," Fuji purred.
"I am not letting you-" He was silenced when warm, wet lips descended onto his own. Then Fuji parted his lips and let the sweet liquid flow into Tezuka's mouth. He stroked Tezuka's throat soothingly, coaxing the buchou to swallow. But he didn't remove his mouth from Tezuka's. Instead, he touched the tip of his tongue against Tezuka's, removing his hand from his buchou's eyes.
He tastes like cherries…
Tezuka stiffened as Fuji shyly probed his mouth with his tongue, then relaxed slightly when his eyes were uncovered. He opened his eyes a tiny crack and saw Fuji looking back at him, jewel-hued eyes open and staring. Then those brilliantly blue eyes fluttered shut, and he felt slender fingers comb through his hair.
Fuji wrapped his arms around Tezuka's neck, fingers playing with pale-honey hair as he explored Tezuka's mouth. After a moment of hesitation, he felt Tezuka rest one hand at the nape of his neck. The other alighted at his hip seconds later, sliding up beneath his shirt to the small of his back. Tezuka's touch on his bare skin sent sizzling jolts of electricity tingling up his spine, and he moaned from the odd sensation. Then Tezuka pulled away just a fraction.
"You taste of cherries," he whispered.
"Mm, that ice cream parlour does sell normal flavours as well," Fuji replied. "But you have to ask for it."
Tezuka felt Fuji nudge him in a certain direction, rubbing their bodies together as he manoeuvred Tezuka towards heaven knew where. At that very moment, Tezuka wasn't very concerned as to where Fuji was leading him. It could have been off a cliff for all he cared. And then Fuji gave him a hard shove.
Hazel eyes flew open with surprise, and Tezuka landed with an undignified 'oomph' on his back on Fuji's bed. And in an instant, Fuji was above him, knees straddling his hips, hands planted on either side of his head. Then Fuji slowly lowered himself just enough to brush his lips against Tezuka's. He flicked his tongue, tasting Tezuka's moist lips.
"Do you like cherries, Tezuka?" He asked, his silken voice mesmerizing, ocean-blue eyes hypnotic.
Tezuka was stunned to find himself automatically replying, "Only on your lips."
Fuji smiled slyly, liking Tezuka's response. "It's such a nice flavour, especially in sweets and desserts." He brushed his lips down Tezuka's neck until he reached the little notch between Tezuka's collarbones. There, he lapped felinely, fascinated by the mildly salty taste of Tezuka's skin. He searched upwards until he felt the steady, if rapid, throb of Tezuka's pulse. He scraped the skin there gently with his teeth, sucked at the steady beating like a vampire taking sustenance.
Whilst distracting Tezuka with his mouth and teeth, Fuji unbuttoned Tezuka's shirt. One hand caressed Tezuka's skin, while the other toyed with the flat disc of one rapidly stiffening nipple. Tezuka moaned and arched his body against Fuji's hands. His skin just brushed Fuji's shirt. Overly sensitized, the brief touch of fabric on skin had Tezuka arching his neck, exposing more of his neck for Fuji.
Fuji looked up from the livid lovebite, taking in the sight of Tezuka laid out before him like a feast. He turned his attentions to the other nipple, watching as Tezuka bit down slightly on his lower lip to keep from crying out.
"Mm, very sensitive here, are we?" He bent down once more, placing his lips beside Tezuka's ear. "Want to know what I was thinking when I was eating that popsicle?"
"You weren't eating it," Tezuka muttered through gritted teeth.
"Oh? Then, pray tell, what was I doing?" Fuji nuzzled tangled dark honey-blond hair.
"Mm, very perceptive." He slid away until he was seated between Tezuka's thighs. Then he unbuttoned Tezuka's pants, pulling the zipper down with his teeth.
"Kami-sama," Tezuka breathed.
"I know what you were thinking just now, Tezuka. Your face is an open book for me." Fuji slid the trousers down, then widened his eyes in surprise. "No underwear, Tezuka?"
"They disappeared from my locker. I wonder how that could have happened."
Fuji laughed. "Wasn't me. Really, it wasn't. But I must find out who did it and thank them for it." There was a gleam in his eyes as he bent his head down and licked.
"Now you don't have to be jealous of a stick of flavoured ice," Fuji murmured, his breath sending more sensations flooding Tezuka's body.
"I wasn't that obvious!" Tezuka protested.
"Yes, you were." Fuji returned to the task at hand, mimicking his previous actions with the popsicle.
"Stop, and I swear I'll kill you with laps!" Tezuka threatened when Fuji paused halfway.
Fuji gave him a mischievous smile. "Ah, I was only going to do this." And Fuji swooped down and took his entire length into his mouth.
Tezuka clenched his hands into white-knuckled fists in the sheets. His mouth was open in a scream, but the only sound that came out was a slow, sensuous moan. Then Fuji hummed, the vibrations sending thrills up his spine, and this time, Tezuka did scream.
His hands left the sheets and flew to Fuji's head, resting tenderly on the fawn-brown strands. Fuji possessed a very acrobatic tongue, and he demonstrated its skills as he bobbed up and down. His fingers working on autopilot, Tezuka stroked Fuji's hair as the latter licked and lapped and sucked.
Then he was enclosed in Fuji's hot, wet mouth again. The tensai swallowed, and Tezuka felt himself explode. He tried hard not to, but found himself thrusting into Fuji's mouth. Fuji's name was a long, shuddering moan on his lips as he came. He expected the tensai to pull away, but Fuji swallowed, throat working convulsively, milking Tezuka for all he was worth.
Tezuka lay limp on his back, eyes shut. He could still see starbursts of electric colour behind his eyelids. He didn't think he could move a muscle in his body. He felt the brush of fabric at his side, then his arm. Fuji curled up beside him, still fully dressed, draping an arm across his heaving chest.
"It's so much fun seducing you, Tezuka," he purred.