Seeing Right through You
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Author's note: Hello again! Thank you for reading and reviewing, I'll be replying to your reviews real soon. Here's another romance fic, but it's Fuji x Echizen this time. I'm pretty much in love these days that I can't help but write romance fics. This on is pretty much based on personal experience, hehe…
Disclaimer: I don't own The Prince of Tennis
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Echizen Ryoma is walking down the streets of the town that bright Saturday morning. He was heading to the tennis shop to buy something for his tennis racket. When he was already at the shop's door and was about to open it, a familiar person stepped out of the shop and almost bumped into him.
"Oh, Echizen, it's you," the person said, "gomen ne, I didn't see you there."
"Daijoubu, Fuji-senpai," Echizen told his senior and opened the shop's door for himself and stepped inside.
'How rude,' Fuji thought, starting to walk away but decided to stay and peered through the front glass of the shop to watch the freshmen look for something.
Echizen turned to the right and the left, walked here and there, and looked up and down the shop, but he could not seem to find what he was looking for. Sighing in frustration, he decided to go to the cashier and asked for it instead.
"Too bad, boy, but the last of the thing that you're looking for has been sold already to a boy who is slightly older than you that was here right before you came in," the cashier told him.
"I see, arigatou," Echizen said politely and walked out of the shop.
"Hey, Echizen," Fuji called at the freshmen who is walking back to the direction he came from.
Echizen turned to his senpai, "What are you still doing here, Fuji-senpai?" he asked, suspiciously.
"Well, I was just wondering what you bought there," he answered, placing a finger to his chin acting as if he is thinking.
Echizen stared at him for a while then to the front glass of the shop, and said, "Do I really need to answer that question? You seem to know about it already."
"I see, so you bought nothing," Fuji said, smiling, "how come?"
"The man told me that the last of the thing I'm looking for was already sold to a person who got in there right before me," Echizen said, simply repeating what the cashier told him.
Fuji chuckled, "I see, so…do you need it very badly?"
Echizen was hesitating but nodded his head at the end.
"Come with me then, I'll help you look for it," Fuji told him, "this is not the only tennis or sport shop in town."
"Iie, there's no need for that, senpai," Echizen said, looking at Fuji in mild surprise, "I-I can look for it myself."
"Oh, but it's my responsibility as a senpai to help my kohai," Fuji said, slightly frowning.
"No buts, Echizen, let's go." Fuji finally said, pulling the small boy by the arm.
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Fuji and Kikumaru were playing tennis at the school's tennis court that afternoon; the two were dismissed very early by their sensei so they decided to play tennis while waiting for the rest of the club instead of going somewhere else where they could b in danger of being late. But since the dismissal time of the whole school is just minutes away, they would not need to wait long enough.
At that moment, another two regulars arrived – Momoshiro and Echizen. They walked passed the court where their senpais are playing but the tensai and the acrobat seems to be so absorbed by their game that they were not able to take notice of their two kohais' arrival.
"Oh, how I wish my last period sensei is like theirs," Momoshiro said, sighing, looking over his two senpais while heading to the locker room, "Fuji-senpai and Kikumaru-senpai are usually dismissed very early."
Echizen, however, did not paid attention to what Momoshiro had just said as he unconsciously stopped in his tracks and watch the two seniors play on the court – particularly focusing on the smiling tensai.
Momoshiro kept blabbing all the way to the locker room and was frustrated when he saw his companion feet away behind him, "What the – " he began, but he noticed that the freshmen was just not watching the seniors play since through his own short observation, he could definitely say that Echizen was watching specifically one person only. The sophomore grinned to himself, and yelled, "Hey, Echizen!" the freshmen broke from his trance and turned to Momoshiro, who yelled again, "Let's go and change!"
Echizen took another quick glance from the two seniors then walked towards the locker room, sighing. "I never thought Fuji-senpai could be so nice," he said as soon as he was inside the locker room and went to sit in the bench.
"What is that?" Momoshiro inquired, grinning to himself again as he put on his regulars t-shirt. "Fuji-senpai? Why did you say that?"
Echizen then began telling his senpai what happened during the Saturday that he had spent with Fuji – how he helped him look for the things he needed to buy and how he insisted to give the he bought, and how he treated him to ice cream while they were looking, to burgers after they had finally bought it, and to fares in the transportation.
"Well, he could be," Momoshiro muttered, tapping a finger to his chin, "I mean, he's Kikumaru-senpai's best friend and Kikumaru-senpai doesn't like people who are not nice," he explained, "but Fuji-senpai can be really scary, mean and weird –"
"Nya! What are you saying Momo?" Kikumaru exclaimed from the door, making the two boys inside jump in surprise which he completely disregarded. Kikumaru marched towards Momoshiro, scowling, "What are you saying about Fuji, nya?"
Momoshiro froze in his spot as the acrobat interrogate him mercilessly, "I-um-I'm just –"
"Nya! Speak up!" Kikumaru demanded.
"Hey, Eiji," Fuji called, "you shouldn't bully your kohai," he said, wiping his face with a towel as he walk and stood in front of Echizen, making the freshmen blush slightly, luckily the tensai did not seem to notice as Echizen quickly looked down the floor and covered his face with his cap and as his attention is focused to his best friend and the shaking sophomore, "you're scaring the hell out of him," he commented finally.
Kikumaru frowned at his best friend, "But Fuji, he doesn't have the right to say those things about you," he said, pouting.
Fuji smiled, "Of course, he does, Eiji," he said, putting his hand to the acrobat's head, "you're saying those words yourself."
"Nya, Fuji!" Kikumaru whined.
"Oh, I think I could hear Oishi coming," Fuji said, intentionally changing the subject, "let's go, Eiji!" he told Kikumaru, pulling his best friend with him.
And with that, the two seniors left the locker room. Momoshiro sighed in relief, and muttered, "I never thought Kikumaru-senpai could be that scary…"
"He's Fuji-senpai's best friend, what do you expect?" Echizen commented, looking up, and added, "Just be careful on what you say next time."
"Nani?" Momoshiro exclaimed, eyes widening, "You're the one that put me through there, you brat!"
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'Stop it!' Echizen yelled to himself, hitting his forehead very hard while he was lying on his bed and staring at his ceiling through the darkness of the night. He sat up and looked at his clock, 'I should be sleeping now…' he told himself as he saw that it was already 12:15AM. It was the third night that he could not get himself to sleep; he then pulled his knees up and wrapped his arms around them. He breathed deeply and sighed, 'What's happening to me?' he thought, closing his eyes and leaning his head to his knees.
Startled, Echizen opened his eyes quickly. He smiled at the sight of his Himalayan cat coming closer to him and stroked his head to his legs. In return, Echizen caressed the cat's head with his hand.
Karupin stepped closer to him again, looking at him with eyes that are seemed to be filled with utmost concern. Echizen stared back as if Karupin were saying some words he could not hear. He then said, "I'm fine, Karupin…I just have a lot of things in my head these days…"
Echizen chuckled, shaking his head…is he just talking to his cat? 'I must've gone mad now,' he thought. But he wanted to talk, he wanted to talk to someone about what is going through his mind, if he does not mention this to anyone he would certainly go mad. "I think I'm already starting to like someone, Karupin," he began, "but I'm not pretty sure…I just got to hangout with him just this Saturday and he's just so plain nice I couldn't help but like his attitude even though he could be scary sometimes," he continued, frowning and looking at Karupin who seemed to be listening intently, "the feeling's wonderful, Karupin, but I don't know if this right…I mean, people say that there's nothing wrong in loving someone, but in my case, I think it's kind of…immoral…"
Echizen bit his lower lip and felt his chest tightened at the thought, he buried his face on his knees as tears started running down from his eyes.
"Gomen ne, Karupin," he said, looking up and wiping his eyes, "I just can't help but hope that he's feeling the same about me, I don't know why, but I desperately want him so much…" he added, smiling.
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Momoshiro and Echizen are in their usual favorite fast-food chain that afternoon; the sophomore kept munching on his hamburger and drinking his soda despite being bothered by his kohai's strange behavior. Echizen was absentmindedly ignoring his food and drink – also his senpai's presence – as he gaze intently outside the glass window. As Momoshiro keenly watch Echizen preoccupied state, he unconsciously took a large bite from his hamburger while thinking how to get the freshmen's attention when he then started to choke, making Echizen snap out from his trance.
"You should eat carefully, Momo-senpai," Echizen said, monotonously.
Totally annoyed, Momoshiro drank all of his soda to relieve himself from choking, and yelled, "Shut up, baka! It's your fault why that happened to me."
"Why are you suddenly blaming me about all the misfortunes that are happening to you, huh?" Echizen asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Because they have all something to do with you," Momoshiro reasoned out, irritated.
"Whatever," Echizen snapped, turning back to the glass window.
Momoshiro sighed, 'Why isn't he telling me anything?' he asked himself, frowning.
Echizen felt unease as he can sense his senpai's eyes penetrate through him since Momoshiro look at him with much more seriousness in his face than minutes before when he was still eating. He tried to pay no attention to him but his stares really made him uncomfortable. Finally, he turned to the sophomore, defeated, "Why are you looking at me like that?" he inquired, staring back with his sharp, cat-like eyes, "Stop it, it's creeping me out."
Chuckling slightly, Momoshiro asked, "What's your problem? It's obvious that something's bothering you."
'Should I tell him?' Echizen asked himself, unsure if he must since his senpai might not take him seriously, but he wanted to confide to someone who could really understand – apparently, even though talking to Karupin helped out, it was still not enough. He stared at Momoshiro who is looking back at him with utmost concern. Finally, readying himself, he breathed deeply and sighed. "Momo-senpai, have you ever liked or loved some –"
"Why, Echizen? Are you in love?" Momoshiro teased, interrupting Echizen. 'I knew it! That's what's bothering him!' he thought excitedly.
"Ha-Hai," Echizen faltered, blushing. 'Never would I do this again,' he swore to himself.
"Really? To whom?" Momoshiro asked, exaggerating and his excitement.
Echizen looked away, hesitating to answer the question, "Uh…umm…t-to…"
Momoshiro stifled a laugh as Echizen stutter at his question. "To Fuji-senpai?" he supplied with a mocked guess.
"A-Am I th-that obvious?" Echizen asked, widening his eyes.
"For me…yes, but for him and the others…mmm…maybe not," Momoshiro answered, "I kind of notice that you tend to stare at him a lot for a long time when you watch him play or when you're in a far distance from him," he told him, "I can also see you steal some glances of him when he pass by or when we're assembled and huddled inside the locker room, I bet you're not even paying attention to buchuo or to Ryuzaki-sensei during those times, also, you tend to blush a lot whenever he's talking to you," he finished, teasingly.
Echizen swallowed nervously, and said, "Promise that you're not going to mention it to anyone, ne, Momo-senpai?"
Momoshiro laughed and smiled, "Promise, Echizen," he said, raising both of his hands in the air, assuring the freshmen.
Sighing, Echizen asked, "What should I do about it, Momo-senpai?"
"Huh? Nothing, it's better than doing something that could cause a lot of mess," Momoshiro answered, "besides, the situation's still unclear, it's better to wait for something to come out."
Echizen nodded and sighed. He had done it…finally, somehow he felt lighter than before.
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The tensai stopped in his tracks, surprised, as he saw the youngest regular member of their tennis club sitting on the bench inside the locker room. He put up a cheerful smile on his face, and greeted, "Ohayou, Echizen."
Echizen looked at him with wide eyes, startled by his sudden appearance. He felt as though his heart went up to his throat, his body froze and his face blushed quickly as he saw Fuji went in the locker room, quickly, so that the senior will not notice his red face, he pulled down his cap down.
"What are you doing here this early?" Fuji asked, changing to his regular's uniform, "Well, maybe this is on of those days…"
Not saying a thing to his senpai, Echizen just kept quiet as he stare down on the floor, unaware of Fuji's side glances at him.
"Would you mind if I tell you something?" Fuji asked, with evident seriousness in his voice.
Echizen looked up slowly, and then blinked at him, confused. "I-Iie," he answered nervously.
Fuji turned to him, smiling, "Are you sure?" he asked, sitting beside the freshmen.
"Well…umm…how should I start? Well, I'm quiet confused lately ever since I started liking this person," Fuji began, bending down to his knees, not looking at Echizen who has a shock look in his face.
'So, he already had someone he likes…' Echizen thought, sadness filling his every emotion as he could feel his heart crush inside him.
"I wanted for that person to know how I feel but I don't know how since I'm not even sure if this is right, I feel like I'm cheating on myself for liking him..." Fuji continued, looking at Echizen to see his expression.
"Hi-Him?" Echizen inquired.
Fuji nodded, "He reminds me of someone I used to love back then," he added, "I'm feeling guilty since I may seem to be unfair to him even though he doesn't know that…"
"Just try to see through the person more so that you can know who really is," Echizen said, voice slightly quivering, "don't contain yourself with what you see in him now, look beyond…I'm sure that person is different from your last love," he continued, "every people are different from one another, I'm sure you know that..." he finished, not looking at his senpai.
Fuji stared at him with amazement; he never thought that Echizen could say those words. "Thanks for listening," he said, smiling. 'If you only know that it's you…'
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"Nani?" Momoshiro exclaimed during their lunch break, "He had already someone he likes?"
"Would you mind not being so loud?" Echizen snapped, looking around nervously, "Fuji-senpai could be just around the corner, I don't want to die yet."
The two are having their lunch together at the cafeteria and there were certainly a lot of people.
"Nya! Looks like someone's got a love problem," Kikumaru commented out of the blue taking a sip from Momoshiro's drink.
Echizen and Momoshiro's eyes widened at his sudden appearance, "Kikumaru-senpai!" the two younger boys shouted in chorus.
"Relax!" Kikumaru told them, sitting beside Echizen, "So, ochibi, tell me about this love problem of yours, maybe I could help," he said, giggling excitedly.
"I won't," Echizen snapped, taking a sip from his drink nervously.
"Oh c'mon, I'm sure I can help," Kikumaru insisted, pouting, "it has something to do with my bestfriend."
Echizen's eyes widened, 'How long did he know?' he thought frantically.
"How can you say that it has something to do with Fuji-senpai, huh?" Momoshiro asked, coming to Echizen's aid.
"I've been eavesdropping ever since this morning, you know," Kikumaru told him with a wink.
"This morning?" Momoshiro inquired, raising an eyebrow.
Kikumaru nodded, "Hai, since ochibi and Fuji's conversation in the locker room," he explained, turning to Echizen, "I was beside the doorway, actually, I thought of barging in between the two of you since I felt slightly envious," he told him, frowning, "I can't believe that he's telling you all those things instead to me since I'm his best friend –"
"Maybe he thought that you're not that helpful when it comes to such things," Momoshiro teased.
Frowning, Kikumaru eyed Momoshiro threateningly, then continued, "–but I thought of something much better because that might make Fuji mad."
"I see…" Echizen muttered, considering if he should really tell Kikumaru about his troubles but thought that he already know the whole of it. He sighed, defeated, "in that case, there's nothing I can do then?"
"That's right!" Kikumaru exclaimed triumphantly, "So, tell me, since when did you start liking Fuji?"
"Not that long yet," Echizen answered, shyly, "um…what kind of help can you offer?"
"I can't say who he likes now –"
"Then what can you do?" Momoshiro asked, cutting his senpai off.
"Shut up!" Kikumaru yelled at him, irritably, turning back to Echizen, "I can't say who it is since I don't know it myself either, but I can tell you who's the one he used to love," He finished, winking.
Echizen widened his eyes, thrilled to find out who that person is since he did not have the courage to ask Fuji about it a while ago and that he was so broken that moment. "Wh-Who?" he asked anxiously.
Kikumaru took a deep breath, and simply answered, "Tezuka."
"Nani?" the two younger boys exclaimed in disbelief.
Laughing at their shocked expression, Kikumaru nodded, "The two had a seven-month long relationship when we were in second year then and only few people know about it – only me, Oishi and Inui, to be exact," he told them, frowning, "but no one know why they broke up, they didn't tell us…we only found out that they're through after three or four months after the actual break up…nya, they're supposed to be perfect, but good things do come to an end…" he finished, looking at Echizen, whose face so filled with misery. Seeing the look in his face, Kikumaru jumped up, and said, "Nya, I'm sorry to say that, but that's the truth…but you know what?"
Echizen looked at him with palpable hope in his eyes, "What?"
"I may not know who the new person in his heart is, but I could say…" Kikumaru trailed of, smiling gently at his kohai, "it could be you, Echizen."
"Me?" Echizen asked, pointing his own finger on him, blinking in confusion, "How can that be, Kikumaru-senpai?"
"Well, come to think, ochibi," Kikumaru began, gathering energy again and taking another sip from Momoshiro's drink, "Tezuka was the one he used to love and the one he likes now reminds him of Tez –"
"And you and buchuo have similar qualities, attitude and personality," Momoshiro finished, interrupting his redhead senpai again and taking his drink from his hand as well.
"Nya, Momo!" Kikumaru pouted and whined at the sophomore while Echizen frowned.
'Why am I like this? I'm suppose to be happy since I have a chance…' he thought, putting a small smile on his face, 'maybe I should tell Inui-senpai about this so that he could help me on finding out how much percent my chance is, but...' he continued to talk to himself through his mind, frowning as he watch his two childish senpai argue, 'if that person just only reminds him of buchuo, then I'd rather wish that I'm not him…'
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Echizen was walking along the local town park that Saturday afternoon, looking for Karupin whom he had lost while he was buying ice cream for himself. He decided to take out the cat for a walk but now he could not believe that he had lost him just like that. 'I'm not really myself these days…' he told himself, he could not still think of who is the possible person Fuji likes and he started to get paranoid and jumpy as Momoshiro and Kikumaru kept on pointing that it is definitely him.
"Karupin!" Echizen shouted, shaking off those things in his head and trying to focus on looking for his cat.
'Mm…that voice sounds familiar,' a smiling lad thought, putting down his camera from his eyes and started turning his head to the left and right to see the owner of the voice.
Startled, Fuji looked down to his feet and saw a Himalayan cat, wagging its tail and staring at him charmingly, begging for his attention. He chuckled and knelt down and started to stroke the cat, "How cute," he muttered, "I wonder who your owner is…you looked quite familiar…" he said to the cat, while looking around if there is someone approaching. Sighing, he smiled to the cat and placed the camera to his eyes, "Now, if you could just stay put…1…2…–"
The cat, despite being curious on the thing staring at him, quickly turned to the direction of the voice and ran towards the owner. Fuji followed the cat with his gaze and silently gasped to see the young owner. He opened his eyes in surprised and watch as Echizen caress and cuddle the cat to his chest so lovingly and so full of affection. Smile gently formed in his lips as he finally saw the one thing he has been looking for the entire week. 'I finally saw what sets them apart,' he said to himself, happily. Slowly, he put his camera to his eyes and took a candid shot of the cute and adorable sight.
Echizen looked up to where the flash came from, knowing that it was directed to him, then, his eyes quickly widened to see the person walking towards him. He felt his cheeks go red again, wishing that he wore his cap at that moment so that he could cover his face. Unfortunately, he does not have it so he just simply looked away.
"Fuji-senpai…i-it's you…" Echizen said nervously but trying hard to sound normal.
"I never thought that you own that cat," Fuji told him, stroking Karupin's head again, "and neither did I think that you could be this affectionate to such."
Thinking that his senpai is teasing him, Echizen blushed deeper due to embarrassment, "Hi-His name is Karupin," he told him.
"I see," Fuji muttered, "I thought I heard your voice a while ago, you were looking for him, weren't you?"
"Well, you better take care of him," Fuji said, looking at the young boy seriously and frowning, "did I do something wrong?" he asked out of the blue, walking to a nearby bench and sitting on it, "Maybe I shouldn't have told you about that person, did I have you guessing for the rest of the week?"
In all honesty, Echizen nodded, sitting beside his senpai and setting Karupin on the ground, then, gathering all his courage, he asked, "Ca-can I ask who is this person?"
Fuji chuckled, "Honestly, I thought you already know, especially after Eiji told you that I used to be with Tezuka," he said, smiling at him.
"You knew that he told us?" Echizen asked, swallowing, thinking that he might be there as well.
"I told him to tell you," Fuji said, nodding, "I knew he was listening that morning and since he wanted to help you to find out who that person is without him directly saying who it was, I told him to tell you that bit," he explained.
"He just acted that he didn't know," Echizen muttered in realization, "then, he really knew who it was?"
Fuji nodded, "Do you?" he asked, "Do you know that it's you?"
Echizen's eyes widened, "Me?" he asked, looking away and smiling, "I was hoping that, my prayers were answered then?"
Puzzled, Fuji turned to him, "What do you mean, Echizen?"
"Kikumaru-senpai didn't tell you then, I thought he was a very loyal friend," Echizen said, managing to kid around, "I like you too, Fuji-senpai," he told him, looking at him directly at the eye.
"Does this mean…its okay with you if we could be…together?" Fuji asked, his hopes raising high.
Echizen nodded but with a frown, "But I'm afraid that you would stop liking and loving me ones you see that I'm not completely like buchuo at all…" he said.
"What makes you say that?" Fuji asked, frowning as well.
"Since the reason why you like me is that I remind you of buchuo…" Echizen trailed off, voice cracking and tears starting to fall in his eyes, "what if I stopped reminding you of him? You might stop loving me as well…"
Fuji put his camera down on the bench and knelt in front of Echizen, putting his hand on the younger boy's knees, "That's not going to happen, Echizen," he assured him, placing his other hand on Echizen's cheeks and started to wipe of the tears, "since just this afternoon, I saw what truly sets you apart from him…"
Echizen looked up to Fuji's beautiful and piercing sapphire eyes, and asked, "Wh-What is it, Fuji-senpai?"
Smiling, Fuji looked back to Echizen's golden ones, "Tezuka and I broke up due to my doubts, I felt that I'm nothing to him…you know him, he doesn't show his emotions that much but that's what I want to see from him…" he began, "and now, you're here, someone who could show me what I really wanted to see…you show me that you can show affection and all kinds of emotions that you have, the heaven introduced you to me, someone that can assure me that I'm theirs and they're mine," he continued as he began to cry as well, "I finally saw right through you, and I don't want to commit the same mistake of letting go the one that loves me so much again…I need you, Echizen…"
"Fuji-senpai…" Echizen began wiping the tears from Fuji's eyes as well.
"I love you, Ryoma…" Fuji said and without hesitating, he sealed his statement with a gentle kiss on Echizen's lips.
Echizen's eyes widened in surprise again due to the unexpected kiss, but he dare not to pull away instead he savor the softness and sweetness of Fuji's lips, he gently closed eyes to cherish his very first kiss. Fuji pulled away after several moments; Echizen opened his eyes and looked at Fuji with a smile, and said, "I love you, Fuji-senpai."
"Fuji-senpai?" Fuji inquired, chuckling, "It doesn't sound so appropriate."
"Syusuke-senpai, then," Echizen answered, smiling, "but won't the others be intrigued?"
"We'll just call each other by that if we're on our own, okay?" Fuji told him.
Echizen nodded, "Promise me that my greatest fear won't happen, promise me that you'll not stop loving me," he begged, "I love you, Syusuke-senpai."
Fuji smiled, "That won't happen, Ryoma, I'm telling you that," he assured him, kissing in his forehead, "but I think Karupin wandered off again, don't you think we should look for him?" he asked, smiling.
Echizen quickly stood up and started to look around, Fuji was right, Karupin was nowhere to be found. Fuji has just stood up when he turned to him, "Can you help me look for him?"
"Of course," Fuji said, nodding, placing his camera on his neck.
--- --- --- --- ---