Pairing: mild Tezuka x Fuji, Momoshiro x Echizen (if you squint)
Misunderstandings and Misadventures
When Kikumaru ran onto the courts late and wailing loudly, Tezuka's first instinct was to tell the redhead to start his laps around the courts and find a way to soothe the headache that was bound to come, as nearly every encounter with Kikumaru tended to cause. However, the panicky way Kikumaru shook his head at Oishi and ran directly towards Tezuka instead made him change his mind. Although the sight of Kikumaru panicking over nothing seemed to be normal, this time it may have really been something serious.
"Tezukaaaa!" Kikumaru wailed, flailing his arms like fish out of water in front of his captain's face to be sure he had his full attention. Once Tezuka was focused on him, Kikumaru declared woefully in a tone that was clearly distraught, "Fuji's been in an accident!"
His lips flattened first. As the other regulars were beginning to crowd around them, Tezuka calmly closed his eyes and adjusted his glasses. Then, without warning, he strode towards the gates, tapping Oishi's shoulder like a transfer of power as he went. Just as he closed the gated door behind him, Oishi's voice sounded out to disband the crowd. That would give Tezuka a few minutes.
A few people whispered around him as he passed through the halls. After all, it was rare to see Tezuka Kunimitsu not at tennis practice. And skipping at that. In fact, almost nobody had seen him ditch tennis practice before. Everywhere he went, Tezuka was famed as a one hundred percent tennis dork. In politer terms, of course.
The first sight that greeted Tezuka's eyes when he strode into the medical bay nearly made him want to step back out and empty the contents of his stomach. But he was Tezuka Kunimitsu and Tezuka Kunimitsu did not throw up in the school hallway. Instead, he stiffly adjusted his glasses, as he always did when he was feeling uncomfortable, and took an awkward step forward. Clearing his throat, he called out, "Fuji…"
The shorter boy seemed to freeze for a moment before smoothly turning off the running water in the sink. He had been washing his hands, which were very…red. He used his left foot to nudge something under the counter out of Tezuka's gaze before directing his full attention at his captain. Smiling, he managed a nervous chuckle, "Ah, Tezuka. I didn't hear you come in."
"Kikumaru said you had an accident," Tezuka stated bluntly, feeling a bit queasy just looking at the endless amounts of red that was staining Fuji's skin.
"Eh?" Fuji asked, tapping the side of his face. "Not really, but…" He smiled sheepishly. "Sorry, Tezuka. Would you mind excusing me from practice for today?"
"Of course," Tezuka almost snapped. Fuji was being irrational. It would have been stupid to make him come to practice in a state like that. He quickly strode over to the shorter boy and took him by the shoulders. Determination in his stride, Tezuka marched Fuji over to the bed and sat the surprised shorter boy down. As Fuji continued to gaze questioningly at him, Tezuka shot him a pointed glance. Turning towards the door, he commanded, "Rest. I'll take care of all your duties for today."
Fuji was confused for a moment, then surprised, and finally amused. Entwining his fingers in his lap, he asked with a wicked smile on his face, "Everything, Tezuka? Really?"
"Are you sure about that?" Fuji questioned with a devilish flicker in his now slit-open blue eyes. "The tennis club isn't the only club I'm in, you know. There are also several other things I do around campus. You're going to do all of it?"
"Just for today so you can rest," Tezuka replied affirmatively in a huff, somehow missing the evil expression crossing Fuji's face. "As captain, I have to take care of my club members."
"Such dedication," Fuji mused aloud with a click of his tongue as he fell back on the bed with his arms folded behind his head. "And here I thought I was getting special treatment. Well, I'll still repay the favor."
"No need," the taller boy responded instantly, striding towards the door. Just before he slipped out, he called over his shoulder, "I'll see your teacher about your class duties."
There was a pause.
Fuji was grinning again from the bed. Amusement on his face, he asked innocently, "And?"
"Takecareofyourself," Tezuka muttered before sliding the door shut behind him and taking long strides down the hall, leaving the ever-amused Fuji alone in the medical room.
The moment Tezuka stepped into Class 3-6, he instantly realized he had made a mistake. All of Fuji's classmates turned to stare at him within a second of his entrance. Tennis practice was still scheduled to continue for twenty minutes or so since class had yet to begin, explaining Kikumaru's lack of presence. As he rigidly made his way towards the teacher's desk, Tezuka found himself slightly perturbed by the stares, which was rare for him. It had to be a bad sign.
"Is there something I can help you with?" the teacher asked pleasantly once Tezuka stopped before his desk.
"Tezuka Kunimitsu from Class 3-1," Tezuka briefly introduced, eyes fixed in a deadbeat expression. "I'm here to inform you that Fuji Syusuke is in the medical room."
"Ah, Fuji-kun is out," the teacher said musingly to himself before turning to smile at Tezuka. "Then I assume you're here to bring him his work, Tezuka-kun?"
Tezuka nodded briefly before hesitantly stating, "I am also prepared to cover any necessary extracurricular duties."
"Good timing, Tezuka-kun!" a girl piped up from behind him, folding her arms. "It's our group's turn to clean the classroom! Fuji-kun would have been in trouble if he were to ditch."
Before Tezuka could get another word in, several more students closed in. Definitely a bad sign. Tezuka could feel his face turn slightly blue. He hated it when things swarmed in on him. Somehow, it was ironic considering his favored tennis move happened to be Tezuka Zone.
Tezuka listened in for a moment or so before the chattering had become so unintelligible, he asked in a choked voice for the students to make a list. That was how he ended up with three sheets of paper front and back on his way out of the classroom. He could feel another headache beginning to swell. He immediately regretted his decision.
Just before he took another step out, a pot was shoved up to his face, making him back up instantly with a surprised blink. The arms that lifted the pot slowly lowered it and the second year student that was attached to those arms, grinned brightly at Tezuka. Too brightly.
"Fuji-senpai is supposed to taste-test for our cooking club today," the second year chirped, making Tezuka feel infinitely uncomfortable by the extreme about of cheer in his voice. "We made wasabi and spinach stew with natto!"
Slowly, very slowly, Tezuka felt his face turn blue yet again. It seemed to be the theme for the day. He should have expected this. The fact that Fuji was presiding over the cooking club known for its…unique style should have set off alarms in Tezuka's head immediately, but somehow he had forgotten that when he made his promise to Fuji. Sometimes he hated it when he thought so much of chivalry.
He stood frozen for a moment, unsure of how to deal with the curiously thick green stew that was still bubbling in the pot before him. The second year was still beaming radiantly up at him. Tezuka was almost disturbed by how similar that smile was to Fuji's. Regaining control of himself, he braced himself and took hold of the ladle inside the pot. Whatever it was, it had to be better than Inui Juice, right?
The taste was fine, Tezuka discovered. The only problem was the exaggerated amount of wasabi that was in the mixture. His eyes watered slightly from the fire that was raging in his mouth, but otherwise kept his poker face. Voice very slightly higher than normal, so slight that the trained ear would not have heard, he commented, "Too much wasabi…and salt."
"Got it!" the second year chirped again, withdrawing the pot. He bowed his head slightly in respect. "Thanks, Tezuka-senpai!"
As soon as the younger student was around the corner, Tezuka swiftly strode to the water fountain. There was a limit to how long he could stand the taste of wasabi in his mouth. His left eye had already begun to twitch. Unfortunately for him, before he reached the fountain, a pair of first year girls intercepted him. As the girls fidgeted for a moment, Tezuka could only cast a painfully longing glance at the fountain, that still had clear, clear water dripping from it, damn it. His eye twitched once more.
"T-Tezuka-senpai," the girl on the left began rather timidly, face tinged with red. "Fuji-senpai was supposed to tutor us in math today…"
Although Tezuka's secret inner self was weeping, he simply nodded politely on the outside and allowed the girls to direct him to their class. The burning in his mouth would fade in time. For the present moment, he just had to control the twitch in his eye.
Most of the day had passed by already, and Fuji was dutifully doing his work in the medical bay when Kikumaru burst in and bounced over to his side. Seating himself on a stool, the redhead carefully observed his friend's amused smile for a moment before grinning widely again. "Fuji!" he whined, "It's lunchtime already! Let's go eat!"
The other teen chuckled quietly to himself, making Kikumaru stare in confusion. Blue eyes opening a sliver, he held a finger up to his lips and stated, "I can't leave the room or Tezuka will be upset."
"I thought it was weird too," Kikumaru said with a sniff as he folded his arms. "Why is Tezuka making such a big deal about something like this anyway? He's really doing everything you usually do. Even I know that's a lot. I mean, it's not like you're terminally ill or something. You did tell him what happened, right?"
Fuji simply smiled in reply. Cheerfully, he stated, "Let's just say he ran off before I could get a word in."
"…I knew you were evil on the inside," Kikumaru confirmed with a sigh, shaking his head.
"Don't worry," Fuji replied with an evil smirk. "I'll definitely make it up to him."
Kikumaru couldn't help but shudder.
Tezuka was nearly at his limit. After tutoring the girls (who really were just staring at him and giggling the entire time), he also had to clean the classroom, fill in for library duty, model for the photography club (all he really did was stand there while the club members whined about the lack of variety—but the pictures they had taken of Fuji before had nearly put Tezuka into a coma), and become the living mannequin for the handicrafts club (dresses, damn it, dresses) among other things. After all that, Tezuka was once again completely convinced he liked the tennis club best. He also had to wonder how Fuji managed to do everything on a school day and still manage to fit his regular hours for the tennis club in. Just for a second, he really began to fear Fuji. Was he the devil?
It was finally the end of the day and Tezuka was ready to call it quits. He finished the three-page list after many long, miserable hours and slowly treaded towards the medical bay to check on Fuji again, along with the dreadful task of bringing him the humongous stack of get-well presents from the girls in Fuji's class. He sighed inwardly just as he slid the door open.
"So are you coming to the rest of tennis practice today?" Kikumaru was asking when Tezuka stepped in. He and Momoshiro were sitting at the bedside while Fuji was propped up on the bed, intently reading his classics book. Pouting, the redhead went on, "We're going to play practice sets next and we're short on people."
"Isn't that more because we're ditching, Eiji-senpai?" Momoshiro asked with a smirk.
Kikumaru waved it off with one hand. "Who cares? Tezuka won't find out! He's too bu—"
"Buchou, you came to visit Fuji-senpai too?" Echizen suddenly called out loudly from behind to announce his arrival, making Kikumaru and Momoshiro freeze. Tezuka simply twitched and grunted in reply.
"You really did everything, Tezuka?" Fuji called from the bed with a pleasant smile as he shut his book and put it on the desk. He somehow managed to miss the irritated expression on the other teen's face and continued to smile placidly. "I'm impressed."
Before Tezuka could respond, Echizen cut in impatiently, "Fuji-senpai, you promised a match with me today. Oh, and nice hairclips, Buchou."
Momoshiro and Kikumaru waved their arms frantically in attempt to get the younger boy to shut up. Instead, they earned themselves a bored look that clearly stated, "You're both stupid."
"Fuji can't play today," Tezuka stated firmly, removing the sparkly hairclips that remained from his visit to the handicrafts club with as much dignity as he could manage.
"Why not?" the first year asked with a frown. Once again, he ignored the wild waving of Kikumaru and Momoshiro's arms. "It's not like he's injured."
"Even if he's not injured, he—…" Tezuka paused, finally realizing something. Stiffly, he turned to glare at the calmly grinning Fuji. "Fuji… You're not injured?"
"Of course not," Fuji replied innocently in a clear tone, nearly making Kikumaru and Momoshiro fall over.
Tezuka's left eye twitched. "Then why did I do all those things for you?"
"You were such an enthusiastic volunteer I didn't want to spoil your fun," Fuji chirped, pulling the sheets back and hopping lightly to his feet. All the while, he was still grinning calmly as if Tezuka was not a ticking time bomb that was presently just three feet away from him.
At this point, Kikumaru and Momoshiro slowly attempted to tiptoe out of the room.
"Where are you going?" Echizen asked aloud dully. He lifted a finger and pointed it over his shoulder at Tezuka and Fuji. "Don't you want to see what happens?"
"It never ceases to amaze me how fearless you are, Ochibi," Kikumaru sighed miserably as Momoshiro pounced on the younger boy. Tezuka turned stiffly to the three of them with a murderous look in his eyes.
"You three," Tezuka began through gritted teeth, "Two hundred laps. Now."
The glare Tezuka was shooting was enough to make a puppy whimper, but apparently not enough to make Echizen even blink twice. The first year simply shrugged and strolled towards the door with his hands stuck in his pockets, Kikumaru and Momoshiro crawling after him.
Now that they were alone, Tezuka stiffly returned his gaze to Fuji, silently demanding an explanation. "What really happened?"
Reaching under the bed, Fuji retrieved his neatly folded Regular jacket and jersey before shaking them out before Tezuka. Both were splattered brilliantly with red. Still with a fearless smile, Fuji explained, "I was helping a classmate carry paint for the art club when some guys crashed into me. I really didn't want you to see something like this. It's a bit humiliating."
If Tezuka turned any bluer, he would have self-destructed. Somehow, seeing Fuji's smile turn sheepish made him feel slightly more forgiving. But only slightly. Closing his eyes, Tezuka folded his arms stiffly. "Don't be ridiculous, Fuji. Why would something like that matter to me?"
"Don't underestimate me, Tezuka. Of course I know that tennis is the most important thing in your life," Fuji stated clearly as if it were the most obvious thing in the word, which it probably was. "For me to be careless enough to allow something like this to happen, does that show my negligence for tennis?"
"Fuji, it's just a jersey," Tezuka sighed.
"But it does mean something," Fuji replied instantly, blue eyes opening to stare firmly at the other boy. "Even you know that."
A brief moment of silence and seriousness passed between them as they stood silently, simply exchanging glances. Finally, just when Tezuka decided to say something again, Fuji grinned widely and stated aloud, "Don't worry about a thing, Tezuka. I'll definitely make it up to you."
Tezuka felt his stomach turn. He so did not like the sound of that.
"This is rare," Inui declared, adjusting his glasses just so the light from the window reflected into the other Regulars' eyes. As the others squinted, Inui flipped open his book and scribbled something down while commenting with mild interest, "Tezuka does get sick after all."
Tezuka glared from the bed.
"Doing all that extra work for Fuji yesterday must have worn him out," Oishi sighed, rising from the chair beside bed in the medical bay. He gazed down worriedly at his bedridden friend, "You really shouldn't have come to school today, Tezuka."
"Buchou can't help it, he's addicted to tennis," Echizen cut in with a careless shrug followed by a yawn.
"Can't you ever stop with the remarks, Echizen?" Momoshiro moaned pathetically when Tezuka shot the first year a pointed glance. "You make me want to lock you up in a closet just to keep your mouth shut."
"Why?" the younger boy shot back evenly in a nonchalant tone. "You're going to make out with me at school again?"
The room went silent.
Inui scribbled in his notebook more with mild interest.
Embarrassed, Momoshiro gruffly slapped a hand over the younger boy's mouth and dragged him out of the room.
The room remained silent for a few more moments before Oishi finally cleared his throat. "That aside…"
Just then, Fuji burst into the room with a stack of papers. Cheerfully, he strolled over to the small group of Regulars and dropped the papers at Tezuka's bedside. "Not to worry about a thing, everyone," he said with a smile. "I have to repay the favor and cover for Tezuka today, after all."
Tezuka instantly got that horribly sick feeling again. The one he frequently got whenever Fuji seemed to do something out of the "goodness of his heart." The worst part of the situation was, however, that the others began to file out of the room, relieved. Tezuka's jaw nearly dropped open. They actually believed Fuji? Madness.
"Don't worry about a thing, Tezuka," Fuji chirped, patting his captain's head fondly as if he were an obedient pet. "Just leave everything to me."
"Leaving everything to you is what I'm afraid of," Tezuka muttered under his breath.
"Nonsense! I'm sure you know I'm quite capable," Fuji declared waving it off without a care. Tezuka was stunned the other boy had actually heard him. The blue-eyed boy turned to grin innocently at his bedridden captain. "You just rest up, ne?"
The horrible, sick feeling in Tezuka's stomach still was not fading. In fact, it intensified when Fuji slipped out the door, waving his fingers and mock-blowing a kiss with a wink as he went. Just when he thought the nightmare was over…
Oh, no. It was definitely starting now. Now.
"Ah, Tezuka," Fuji called, popping his head back into the room with a pleasant smile. "I'll be sure to send in the club members from yesterday who would like to show you their thanks. I hear the cooking club has made you something interesting."
Tezuka wanted to weep. Just as he closed his eyes in frustration, he heard the light padding of feet towards him followed by a tap on his shoulder. Before he had even completely opened his eyes again, Tezuka felt Fuji push his chin up with his fingers and letting their lips crash together. Tezuka stiffened, eyes widening a fraction.
After a few moments, Fuji pulled back and grinned at the stunned teen. "That's my personal thanks."
Perhaps it wouldn't be as bad as Tezuka thought.
"Oh. There's the cooking club president."
The burning smell of chili peppers filled the room.
Scratch that. Tezuka definitely wanted to go home—and cry, but that was another story. He then decided to never do Fuji any more favors. Even though the kiss was rather nice.
A/N: Deathly, deathly delayed fic for a friend. n.nV But! I have a fairly good excuse. (Uncle had a stroke, so I've been out of the country.) Geh. I'm getting rusty on Tenipuri. Many apologies. I officially label this junk!fic. x.o;
Hope you enjoyed it anyway. XD Review if you will, ne?