Title: A Pillar Returned
Rating: Light R and that's being really conservative
Pairing: Yamato Tezuka of course.
Notes: Written for shinigaminc17 because she loves Yamato. It is a combination of both the manga and anime storyline as Yamato helped the team in the anime but it occurs the day Tezuka returns in the manga.

While he was away from his team recovering from the tennis injury, Tezuka had called on several favours. Some favours, like those he asked of Atobe and his team were owed to him. Others, like the favour he asked of Yamato needed to be repaid. Tezuka liked nothing less then being in someone's debt when he was able to pay it. He decided not long after he asked Yamato to check on his team and to talk to Ryoma, that he would need to see him on his return.

The day he returned to Tokyo, he dressed in his regular uniform and went to the Rikkai school where they were having the draws for playing positions at Nationals. He arrived just in time to save Oishi from having a mental breakdown in front of all the other captains and strode down the steps to draw a number for Seigaku. The opposition was strong but he had faith in himself and his team and refused to worry since Oishi was doing enough of that for the both of them. After reassuring his vice captain that he would be back at school the following day for both classes and practice he promptly left and headed to the Seigaku High school.

He smoothly walked through the front gates and the main entrance of the school building. He had been there enough times before to know how to navigate the halls of the affiliated high school. And if the people he swiftly walked by looked at him oddly in any manner he paid them no heed. He had a purpose in coming here and couldn't afford distractions. His old Captain would be in one of three places at this time of day, but Tezuka had a feeling the second floor classroom facing the tennis courts would be where Yamato could be found.

Arriving at the door he gave a swift knock and opened it slightly. He was greeted with the sight of Yamato and three classmates working on a project of some sort. "Yamato-senpai?" Tezuka spoke in greeting as he opened the door wide enough to reveal himself. Before he could say anymore the man he owed a debt to had moved in front of him and was smiling broadly.

"Tezuka-kun. I was aware that good things come to those who wait but I always assumed I would have to wait much longer to be graced with this sight." Yamato said clasping Tezuka's left hand briefly and giving it a shake - Open with his surprise and affections despite the audience. "We were just finishing up in here. A few more minutes and we'll be all done. If you'd like to wait inside the classroom you can." Yamato moved from the doorway to allow Tezuka into the room.

Tezuka gave a small smile in return wondering what the others in the room were thinking of this display. "I'm sorry I've disturbed you Yamato-senpai. I'll be back in a little while." He had no desire to sit in the room and add to the speculations the two girls inside were already having on him and Yamato.

"Yamato, is that your friend?" One of the two girls said teasingly.

"Maybe it's his boyfriend. He's cute." The other not so quietly whispered with a giggle in her voice.

"Can we just get back to work."? Said the fourth member who strangely reminded Tezuka of a domesticated Akutsu.

Not wanting to hear anymore of Yamato's friends' opinions or Yamato's explanation for his presence, he gave a nod to Yamato and abruptly turned. He moved down the hall to get some water and maybe take a quick look at the tennis courts.

Twenty minutes later when he returned, he found Yamato standing alone in the classroom and looking out the window. If any of the Seigaku tennis team wondered where Tezuka had acquired most of his habits, they need to look no further then the man in front of him. He smiled softly to himself as he fully entered the room and let his tennis bag drop to the floor.

Yamato turned at the sound, sunlight glinting off sunglasses as he took in the sight of the man he had once asked to be the pillar of Seigaku. No one would have thought, least of all him, how seriously the talented young boy would take his words to heart. When he heard the news about Tezuka injuring his shoulder against Atobe he had felt devastated and had called Tezuka's phone only to be greeted with voice mail. It really wasn't until the phone call he had received from Tezuka days later, requesting a favour, that he knew there was no hard feelings between them.

"It's said that hardships can make a person stronger. Would you agree?" Yamato asked from his position, leaning against the window ledge. He was curious to why Tezuka had hunted him down without a call first - That was very unlike the Seigaku captain. He would just have to be patient and hope the answers would be forthcoming, if not he would still feel privileged that this magnificent creature had come to honour him with his presence.

There was a flash of challenge in Tezuka's eyes, was Yamato saying he had failed and was not strong enough to lead Seigaku in the first place. Yamato was once his captain, it never mattered that the captain was easily beaten by him in freshman year with his right hand. Yamato had a love for the game that Tezuka could connect with and he had always admired him for the way he ran the team. He knew he would never be the caring and passionate leader that his captain was but Tezuka tried, succeeding in his own way. Thinking this, he realised Yamato had and would never doubt his strength. It was merely an inquiry into his health, "Yes." His eyes softened behind lenses as he hesitantly moved towards his sempai.

Tezuka was always a man of few words, actions were much easier to show and trust for him. The smile in the younger man's eyes as he approached Yamato spoke loudly and clearly of how he understood him. "It's not everyday the captain of the jr. high tennis team comes strolling through these halls. I'm sure you caused a few heads to turn." Yamato said with a smile, picturing a determined Tezuka walking down the halls ignoring all the stares he was getting from the students; Pretending to not hear any of the questions of why he was there or who he was or if he had a special someone. Yamato knew all too well that Tezuka had mastered the art of blocking out anything that distracted him from his goals. It was nice to be one of Mr. Perfect's goals and to have the extent of his focus directed on you with no distractions to interrupt.

Yamato stayed by the window forcing Tezuka to take another couple of steps forward. "I've walked these halls before captain. Besides, I owe you a favour and now that I've recovered I can repay it." Seigaku had made Nationals so Tezuka would do his best to repay any debts he owed in fulfilling his promise.

A look of surprise graced Yamato's face for a mere moment before he recovered. Tezuka thought he owed him something for visiting with his team while he was recovering. He would have been offended if he didn't know Tezuka's personality so well. To Tezuka, it didn't matter how well you knew someone, if they did something for you, no matter how voluntarily, you were in their debt. "The tree is not beholden to the rain for doing what it loves even if it does provide sustenance to the saplings who are striving to grow." He looked up at Tezuka noting that if he stretched he could reach his hand out enough to touch him. But he didn't want to reach, he decided to wait for the young man to take another step forward.

"Hn." Tezuka replied moving two small steps forward. He had been fairly certain that Yamato would not accept anything from him to repay his debt but his honour made sure he would have to try. "Then accept my gratitude." He said seriously with a slight bow.

Yamato chuckled at the display. His pillar of support could be so formal at times. He now easily reached out to grab onto Tezuka's hand and pulled it so that the tall youth fell into him. "Not that your gratitude isn't a wonderful thing to have, but tangible objects I can touch, have always held a larger appeal. Would you rather have some one show you a blossoming apple tree or have someone offer you a crisp fresh apple when you are hungry and starved for one?" He brushed Tezuka's bangs away from his face with his free hand. Tezuka had grown into such a beautiful young man in the three years they had known each other.

"Tangibility does have a certain appeal." The Seigaku Captain spoke evenly as he tilted his head to gently press against the hand that cradled it. He made no move to escape from Yamato's grasp, in fact if anyone was to read his mind or even ask Yamato, they would find out that this is what he had been wanting and waiting for since he first stepped a foot back in Tokyo. He was thankful to have an excuse to visit him so soon after arriving.

Yamato looked around the classroom as if expecting to see some lingering classmate and then looked into Tezuka's eyes. It has been much too long since he had been able to do this, was what he thought as he gently sealed his lips onto Tezuka's. It was a gentle caress and a promise for more. He smiled into the kiss as it was returned; he loved the feeling that spread to his stomach as the proud captain of the current Seigaku team gave in to him. But all too soon, the kiss had ended.

Tezuka moved away with a slight lick to the delicious lips. "Not here." He said breathlessly before pulling his composure back around him like a cloak. The school was not the wisest place to do these sorts of things in, especially when one was the Jr. High President fooling around in the Sr. High school building. He waited for Yamato to gather his belongings, standing casually beside the door, bag once again in hand. When Yamato approached, he brushed his fingers across Yamato's hand before walking out of the classroom.

Yamato followed Tezuka out into the hall and easily caught up so he could keep pace beside him. This was a side of Tezuka he wasn't used to seeing; it was as if he was being teased by him. He was enjoying the treat but was afraid Tezuka still might be trying to repay the so-called favour that he owed. Affection should always be freely given.

They both wordlessly headed in the direction of Yamato's house, falling into a routine that never had been but seemed to exist between them nonetheless. It was a quiet and peaceful walk, they type Tezuka enjoyed. Yet, Yamato couldn't stay silent. "Tezuka," He started making sure he had the other's attention, "There are some things in life that just shouldn't be paid for, a chance to play tennis, bamboo shoots, love... Please don't offer yourself to me again... it was insulting. I was under the impression all these years that one was supposed to look up to their sempai." Yamato looked up into the sky as the sun began to set, his sunglasses making the world be filled with more shadows then normal.

The tone of voice more than the words caused Tezuka to falter in his constant and even walking. "I would never, I mean." He shut his mouth to stop from rambling. He never meant to insult Yamato, he had thought he would enjoy the idea of asking for his favour; it didn't have to be sexual in nature. "I just wanted to return the favour. I never meant to offend you. I apologize." He stated solemnly truly regretful that his actions had been misinterpreted.

"It's water under the bridge. I was just clarifying I only want you if that's what you want. No ulterior motives or obligations, it should just be for the passion and the love of the game." Even if what was between the two wasn't a game it was still a good way to describe what they shared. An unrivalled passion and love for the simple pleasures of life. Even if one was less willing to display it than the other.

"Hn" was the reply given and then they continued on their way in silence. They entered the empty Yamato household, switched shoes for slippers and headed just as quietly up the stairs to the bedroom. The room hadn't changed and it was natural for Tezuka to place his bag in the corner by the shelf as Yamato placed his by the desk.

Tezuka always liked Yamato's room and not just for what happened inside of it. Yamato's d├ęcor was strictly tennis but it wasn't overbearing. He also had the most comfortable couch tucked into the corner that faced a small TV. Yamato had once told Tezuka that he used to sit there to watch tennis matches or tapes of opponents' games. He still did that on occasion but it had found new life in being Tezuka's favourite place to sit.

The first time he had visited Yamato in this room, he had looked around wondering where to sit. The bed was of course off limits to him because sitting on someone's bed was such a forward and rude gesture. The desk chair had clothes hanging off the back of it so that left only a teal couch. It was a bit worn and definitely not stylish but he had gingerly sat on it. After Yamato had sat beside him, that seat had become a truly comfortable place to relax. A hidden oasis of freedom from duties and responsibilities kept safe from the world by Yamato's door.

Yamato knew and understood this and so had made sure to always keep the couch free of clutter just in case Tezuka would come by his house. He was glad he had kept up the habit even with the younger man being absent from Tokyo for such a long time. He moved to sit down on the plush cushions and waited for Tezuka to join him.

The brown haired youth had been delayed by seeing a photo of his Seigaku team. The picture must have been taken right after the match against Rikkai, Ryoma was being swarmed by his teammates but Fuji was missing. That must have been who had snapped the photo and given it to Yamato as a thank you. He smiled softly to himself as he finally walked to the couch.

The two exchanged glances for a brief moment before Tezuka whispered, "no obligations." Before the last syllable had faded, he had been pulled down onto Yamato's lap.

Yamato spent little time wrapping his arms around Tezuka to keep him from falling back. "Welcome home." He smiled and the smile grew as Tezuka plucked the glasses off their faces and tossed them onto the cushion beside them. His eyes sparkled with mischief and happiness. It had been much too long since either of them had touched the other.

Yamato's hand snuck beneath layers of Seigaku fabric until he found the smooth skin of Tezuka's back and side. A soft gasp sounded and Tezuka slid his hips against the older boys. The time of denied touches only helped to build the urgency of their touches now.

Despite this need and hunger, when their lips met it was the same gentle caress it had been back at the school. Eyes closed as they teased each other with their tongues. The emotions running through Tezuka's body forced him to cling to Yamato for support. He had missed the feelings Yamato could invoke in him with just the barest of touches.

Yamato smiled into the kiss as Tezuka shivered beneath his hands. Despite their slow pace, it wouldn't be long before they would both be lacking clothes and sated. The long break had made Tezuka willing and he wasn't going to waste the opportunity.

Deepening the kiss and pulling Tezuka closer to him, he began the easy work of divesting him of the Seigaku uniform. He had, after all, had years of practice. As clothes fell to the floor Yamato picked Tezuka up and carried him over to the bed. Where, in his opinion the other man belonged.

Tezuka was placed onto the bed and the sheets beneath him were cool on his bare skin. Thankfully, Yamato was there to warm him up. Skilled hands moved on and then in his body preparing him for the only exercise that could ever beat tennis.

Breath caught in their throats as they joined; gasps and moans surrounded them as they moved languidly together. Movement built as the urgency grew larger, breathing became more erratic and hands gripped tight to the other to hold onto reality as best they could.

As the world came back into focus and body systems returned to normal, a fleeting thought flew into Tezuka's mind. Returning favours was always good but now he believed that not returning them could be even better.

The End.