wingless crimson presents
Category: Prince of Tennis/Tennis no Oujisama (belongs to Konomi)
Type: Alternative Universe
Summary: When a disgraced, naïve angel is rescued by an arrogant, worldly vampire, an unlikely road to redemption begins.
I'm actually pretty pleased with this chapter overall, although it does seem a little choppy to me. But thank you all for sticking around. I'm off to kick some writer's block ass again, toodles.
To Come Undone
"Tezuka, Yukimura wants to know why you're not talking to him anymore." A nasal tone grated his ear, and once again, Tezuka was forced to think of Fuji and how his lover's voice had resembled bells. "He wants to know if you're angry."
Tezuka wasn't really a connoisseur when it came to the subject of wine, but he always drank enough to make his head swim, though in that fogged state, he could still think. He didn't turn at the sound of the voice.
After a moment of stillness, he raised the glass to his lips again.
"Stop ignoring me, damn it, Tezuka!"
Tezuka found himself gazing into the green piercing eyes, as that were too bright to suit, too angry to suit. He put down his glass and scooted his chair back a little. "…Yes?"
He realized that he didn't know the angel that now stood staring at him if he was some piece of earthy slime. It was a discovery that little alarmed him.
"Answer me." The other spat out, "Yukimura's in pieces because of you! You selfish, heartless--"
"He is not." Tezuka said, interrupting, willing his own voice to stay even as he reached for his glass, sipped for resolve. "He has his lover, I have mine. Whether or not I pay Yukimura any mind should not be of any importance to him."
"Well, it is important to him!" the other cried impudently.
"And that is my fault?" Tezuka returned, highly amused, but not showing it as usual. He was also a bit disturbed at the sheer—nerve of his unknown accuser but if anything, he couldn't let on.
"Yes, of course it is your fault! You—you're the one that made Yukimura like this! Even when he was Sanada he didn't suffer like this! Why does it have to be you?!"
The glass dropped promptly from Tezuka's hands and shattered.
Atobe had half expected his bedroom door to be locked; even with all his naivety about the ways of this world, surely Fuji would take a few seconds to figure out just how to lock the door. It wasn't rocket science.
But it wasn't. Atobe stood in the doorframe, not moving. The door wasn't even closed.
Fuji lay just as motionlessly on his bed, arms stretched upwards towards the ceiling, an exceedingly childlike gesture that suited him.
"Kunimitsu. I did it again." Fuji spoke, most likely oblivious to Atobe's presence, it was a tone that Atobe had never heard him use before. A gentle pleading tone that seemed to Atobe rather out of place, but he stayed silent.
Kunimitsu…Atobe searched his mind for the name and drew an immediate blank. It alarmed him more than he would have liked.
"Why do I keep doing this to you?" Fuji asked forlornly of the imaginary being he was beseeching, "I love you. Kunimitsu, I love you."
Atobe felt as if he had stopped breathing and that someone had slapped him good and hard across the face. But he willed himself to be still. Fuji's eyes were closed.
"I love you. Please…just let this—end." The pleading tone turned raw, and Fuji's arms fell to his sides, hitting the mattress with an eerily echoing thump. "Take me back with you…please, Kunimitsu. We—we are lovers, aren't we?...I love you. If—if I say it enough times, It'll reach you, right?"
Atobe exhaled a heavy breath, one that he was barely aware of holding. He stepped into the room and walked quietly next to the bed. Fuji looked just like an angel lying there like a child. He felt sorry for him.
The cerulean eyes turned to him, yet Fuji stayed unmoving. He opened his mouth, as if to speak, but on a second thought, closed it again.
That made Atobe feel even more horrible, "…Look…uh, I am sorry about what I…did." He managed, after the longest silence of his life, "You…erm, you can curse me if you want to."
Fuji hauled himself up into a sitting position by his elbows. "I don't curse, remember?" He said flatly. "And don't be sorry when you're not really sorry." The eyes hardened, "You know I hate people that lie. You did that on purpose."
The accusation hurt more than Atobe ever imagined it would. He sat down beside Fuji on the bed and reached out to touch the other reassuringly on the arm, but Fuji scooted away, evading his hand. "…I didn't do that on purpose."
"I said don't lie." Fuji's voice was completely ice. "Tell the truth once in a while, it won't hurt you."
"And this is coming from the person who--" Atobe felt himself starting to grow angry, but held it, he wasn't the one that deserved to be angry, Fuji had all the reasons in the world to be. "—What the hell did you expect me to do?" He sighed at last.
At the sudden change in Atobe's tone, Fuji started a bit and turned to him. "Why must you lie, Atobe?" He asked, "I accept you just as you are, is there any reason to lie?"
"…I…" Once more, Atobe was at a loss for words. "You don't know anything about me, Fuji Syusuke." He laughed, finding it extremely funny that he was being 'accepted just as he was'. The only pang that struck him was remembering that grotesque echo from last night, when Fuji had been simply a beautiful child. "And just because you do, the world doesn't. Not everyone is as pure and beautiful as you."
Fuji lay down once more, arms folded loosely across his chest. "I'm not pure and beautiful, Atobe. If I was, I wouldn't be here." He paused, "But the world that you have shown me clearly worships you, don't you think you owe them the truth? By lying to them, you are belittling them."
Atobe too, lay back, though he took great care to measure the space between them to make sure they were not touching. He looked up at the ceiling and laughed again. "They worship only the lie that I have created. The truth means nothing to them."
Fuji said, "Why?"
Atobe shrugged, "I had to, I told you, they wouldn't accept me the way I am now. I have to be Atobe Keigo, the beautiful, the rich, the obnoxious, the mightiest of the mighty. The world worships me for being all these things, Fuji. They don't want the truth."
Fuji was still. Then he gave a snort, though it was a surprisingly elegant sound, coming from him.
Atobe didn't pursue the subject, seeing as how Fuji didn't believe him, he reached out and brushed his hand by Fuji's, he felt the other hand stiffen, but then a moment later, the hesitant fingers curled tightly around his own.
"I'm sorry, Atobe."
They stayed that way for a long time, not speaking. Fuji looked so peaceful then, Atobe decided that 'who was Kunimitsu?' could wait a little while.
Yukimura looked frail and sickly as ever, almost human, with all the blankets bunched tightly around him. Tezuka thought as he glared in the general direction of the slight archangel.
"Tezuka?" The otherwise dull amethyst eyes brightened a little. "…I…didn't think that you would come see me."
Tezuka approached the bed, wondering how easy it would be to just snap Yukimura's neck in two, but put it with some difficulty out of his mind. Fuji wouldn't want him to think that way, "Yukimura, tell me why." He said shortly.
The excitement from Yukimura's eyes faded and he looked away, "Why what?" He asked, perhaps naively, perhaps not.
"Why do you act like such a child? Begging for attention, falling sick so I would come see you." Tezuka wanted to ask exactly who the minion was, but then again, he didn't want to. Yukimura did look sick.
"Children need to be cared for." Yukimura said, not meeting his gaze.
And pampered so that they become brats. Tezuka supplied wryly in the privacy of his own mind. "That's Sanada's job, isn't it? It has nothing to do with me."
"But Genichirou's not here, is he?" Yukimura still didn't look at him, "Tezuka, I don't know why, you know it's impossible to know these things. Even the higher powers…like us, we're not immune to emotions that plague humans, like…love."
Tezuka opened his mouth to speak, but then he realized he had nothing to say.
"Tezuka…it's ridiculous, I know." Yukimura laughed bitterly, "I know it's ridiculous, I know you have Fuji. I know that you think that he'll come back to you and be with you again but…" He shook himself, "I've loved you for a long time, Tezuka."
Tezuka was still unable to find any words. He shook his head, "You shouldn't love me." He said, more bewildered by this confession than anything. "What about Sanada?"
"He's not coming back. I know." Yukimura turned at last to face him. "…Of course, I was like you once, so convinced that Genichirou would come back to me. But he is not coming back." He gave another mirthless laugh, a sound that sounded odd coming from beautiful Yukimura. "I know I shouldn't love you. But I love you anyway. That doesn't change."
Tezuka sighed, "Yukimura…I…"
"It's all right, you don't have to love me." Yukimura cut him off before he could finish, which was a good thing because Tezuka realized he had no finish. "Can't you just—pretend that we're lovers? Until Fuji…comes back?"
Tezuka started, "…Do you think he would come back?"
"You love him so much." Yukimura said flatly, looked down at his clasped hands. "You have not even an ounce of emotion to spare for me. I think he will come back just for that. For you."
"Pretend?" It was a concept completely foreign to Tezuka, a person that was grounded firmly in reality, surrounded by dreamers.
"Yes, pretend." Yukimura nodded, "Just for a little while?"
Yukimura's hands were smooth, they could have been Fuji's hands if Tezuka tried to imagine hard enough. But the red-rimmed amethyst eyes weren't cerulean, filled with secrets he wanted to know. Dispelling the clouds one by one. Yukimura's eyes had no clouds, they were so starkly honest.
But still they were warm. And they loved him. And they were here.
Atobe woke with a jolt to discover that it was dusk, he was clothed, and sprawled out rather carelessly on the bed, still holding Fuji's hand, not so tightly now. Sitting up, he saw that the boy was sound asleep.
He unlaced the fingers one by one and reached for a wayward blanket to cover the thin form. His fingers traced a delicate cheekbone.
"I'm not pure and beautiful. If I was, I wouldn't be here."
"You are pure and beautiful. And you are here." Atobe spoke aloud. "A shame that you are. The world doesn't deserve to hold you here."
He stepped outside of the room and closed the door quietly and slid down against the wall, closing his eyes as he did so. After a moment or two, Atobe reached for his cell phone and dialed Oshitari's number.
The call went unanswered, and Atobe wondered vaguely if Oshitari went out drinking, his phone was always on, and he always picked up without fail. Either Oshitari was out drinking or he was with his tramp of a boyfriend Mukahi, or both. He left a brief message, sounding as businesslike as ever, "Oshitari, this is Atobe. For the article, edit Fuji out, thanks."