A/N: Comes out of some spontaneous urge to write something with the idea of "second best" that's angsty.

For 50 love quotes #15. Some things are worth waiting for...even if you have to wait forever.

Pairing: Tezuka x Fuji

Warnings: shounen-ai, angst, hints at sex

Disclaimer: Prince of Tennis, and all characters thereof, are property of Konomi Takeshi. No copyright infringement intended.

Second Best

To be second best in life, or really in anything else as well, is as good as being the first loser. After all, how good can you be if there is one person out there definitely better than you?

That, not so surprisingly, is Fuji's philosophy on life because, more than anything else, he hates to lose. He rarely tries his hardest because he never needs to, only putting in enough effort so he always comes out on top. That isn't to say he never does; some things are worth all the pain, tears, and whatever else it takes.

Fuji also hates it when people compare him to Tezuka. He knows how much stronger, faster, more accurate, and better his captain is than him--where the boundaries of his own skills lie. He writes it off as not giving it his all because he doesn't want anyone to see how much it hurts because it damn well does. It isn't that he doesn't try, but that he just isn't good enough. Fuji knows he'll always be chasing Tezuka from behind, always so close though never close enough, and the distance between them keeps widening.

But as the old adage goes, "If you can't beat them, join them," which is why Fuji is glad Tezuka is his teammate and captain, and not someone he has to face consistently. Sometimes, Fuji thinks that it must be lonely being the leader, the one being chased instead of doing the chasing because there's no one to push you forward. But then, Fuji realizes, Tezuka has tennis, has his team, and most definitely has Fuji.

It's really too bad, though because as much as Fuji loves Tezuka, he knows that Tezuka's first love is tennis. No matter how many secrets Fuji shares, how many shy smiles he gives, and how dejectedly, seductively, blissfully, and lovingly Fuji's blue eyes gaze at him, Tezuka's eyes never hold the same amount of passion for him back as they did for tennis.

And even in the dead of night, with their bodies pressed passionately together moving erratically with no room for anything but heated whispers between lovers, Fuji knows. He knows, in the back of his incoherent, lust-filled mind, that as soon as the sun rises, Tezuka will be up for his morning run, leaving him to awake alone in a cold bed.

Still, Fuji hopes, though it is a fragile hope, that one morning, he will wake up to Tezuka's peaceful face with his body still perfectly fitted against Fuji's, just as it had been the night before. But in the morning the cool, empty space next to him is just as mocking as the twinge in his chest.

Despite all this, Fuji continues to hope because he knows there will be a day when he will awake with Tezuka still there, when he will matter more to him than a simple game with a green ball. And Fuji will wait. Despite the fact he isn't winning now, it doesn't mean he will always be second best to the game of tennis.

They are in their senior year of high school now, and perhaps Tezuka will stop when they graduate, so Fuji is willing to wait. Perhaps Tezuka will play tennis through college on a scholarship because really, which college wouldn't want the captain of the national winning team? Fuji is willing to wait through that as well. And maybe, because it's not very unlikely, Tezuka will turn pro and have a long, successful career before he finally retires from the world of tennis, but Fuji will still wait because he loves Tezuka and knows that he is worth the wait.

And no matter how futile, how hopeless it seems, Fuji refuses to give up because he cannot stand the thought of his love being seconded by a game where "love" literally means nothing at all. Therefore, if it is necessary, he will wait forever.

That isn't to say, however, that Fuji, who is ever-confident and unbreakable, doesn't have his doubts. Because sometimes, when Tezuka stands on the court, charismatic and proud with his soft brown hair ruffled by the wind, Fuji can't help but shiver slightly, and despite the beautiful canvas it makes, he wonders if what he's waiting for will ever come to him.


A/N: Halfway through the night, I had a random urge to write "second best," because it's just such a power, angsty theme. It was more drabble-like when I plotted it in my head, but I wanted to include 50 love quotes, and then my Fuji-muse ran away with me.

Truthfully, I'm not sure sure how angsty it is opposed to just a bit sad that Fuji's so in love. I hope he'll find what he's waiting for.