Title: Cats and Collars

Pairing: Tezuka/Fuji

Rating: M

Disclaimer: Not mine, not mine at all

Tezuka had never attempted to understand the complicated workings of Fuji Syuusuke's mind. He had seen many people try, and ultimately fail, but Tezuka felt no need. If Fuji felt like explaining the reasoning behind his actions then Tezuka would listen otherwise there was no reason for Tezuka to try to decipher Fuji's reasoning. Tezuka thought in a straightforward manner, while he knew Fuji thought much in the way of the blond doubles player from Higa's signature move. For Tezuka to attempt to understand Fuji would be asking an illiterate American man to summarize The Art of War, a futile task.

Fuji was a wandering, Tezuka knew this, and Fuji did not let people direct his wanderings. Fuji was also a flirt and Tezuka had no problems with Fuji's casual flings, so long as they interfered with neither tennis, nor Tezuka's relationship with Fuji. The relationship between Tezuka and Fuji was sketchy at best, fucked up at worst. During their first year Fuji had made his interest in Tezuka known, though Tezuka had assumed that it was platonic it had come to his attention that to Fuji their relationship was anything but.

In Tezuka's second year a member of the girl's tennis team had approached him. She had calmly stated her feelings and a hope that they might, possibly, be returned. Tezuka had no wish for attachments such as that and turned her down. A few days later Fuji had approached him.

--

"I heard you turned down Nozomi-senpai." Fuji casually mentioned as they walked home together. Tezuka and Fuji did not live close together but they were not that far apart either, it took minimal adjustment to their routes to walk part of the way together.

"Ah." Tezuka answered, glancing at Fuji. He was a little surprised by the other bringing it up. It was the first time Tezuka had been approached that year but Tezuka was sure it would not be the last.

"Maa…" Fuji seemed to think for a bit, the silence becoming uncomfortable as they walked. "Are you not interested in girls Tezuka?"

Tezuka frowned, the wrong answer might be taken the wrong way, but as with all things Tezuka answered honestly. "No. I am not." In the future it was possible that Tezuka would feel some interest in girls but right now the smooth lines of a boy's body were more alluring to him, not that he had too much interest in those at the moment either.

"Oh." Fuji frowned gently. "Aren't you interested in anyone Tezuka?"

"You." The answer was out before Tezuka could stop it and he felt the tips of his ears heat as Fuji turned a surprised smile on him.

"Me?" Fuji's voice was far too innocent though for it to be a surprise. "Well. I guess we could go out." Tezuka had frowned at Fuji and the other had chuckled lightly. "Oh no worries Tezuka, I'll be discreet."

--

And Fuji was discreet, in his own way. No one paid attention to the way Fuji said 'Tezuka' when everyone heard him purring the name 'Taka-san' to his flustered doubles partner. No one thought about how closely Fuji stood next to Tezuka, or how often, not when compared to the proximity the Golden Pair kept, or the comfortable way Fuji and Eiji violated each other's personal space. Fuji and Tezuka's walks home after school stopped separating, but then no one ever walked with them so who was to know? No one cared to pay attention to the casual way Fuji flirted with Tezuka when Fuji was all but whispering in their rival's ears.

Even had anyone noticed they would no doubt have dismissed it as Fuji attempting to liven Tezuka up. Tezuka was, after all, considered to be stoic and dispassionate except when it came to tennis. No one would believe that he often needed to muffle his noises during their 'study' sessions, as Fuji preformed complicated tricks to bring him to a strength draining orgasm.

When Tezuka had left for Kyushuu he had left with mixed feelings about the team. He knew Oishi would worry himself sick, and wondered if Ryoma would overcome his hurdles. Tezuka hoped that Kikumaru would overcome his lack of stamina and be the partner Oishi needed and he Tezuka hoped that Kaidoh and Inui would not lose themselves in personal training but would develop strengths alongside each other. Tezuka had given all his teammates advice but the responsibility of being a Captain lingered.

Tezuka had hoped that during his leave Fuji would overcome his own obstacles and become a serious player. Deep down Tezuka had also worried that Fuji would, n the time Tezuka was gone, find someone more fun to play with. Fuji had wandered before, to Fudomine's Tachibana, to members of the team, and Tezuka knew that Fuji had experienced dalliances with more then one member of Hyotei. Fuji had always come back because Tezuka was always there, but now Tezuka would not be.

When Tezuka returned to the team nothing had changed, except Fuji no longer approached Tezuka about study sessions. Tezuka did not ask and Fuji did not offer, leaving the Captain of Seigaku to wonder just what their relationship had meant to Fuji, if it had meant anything at all.

It took a while for Tezuka to figure things out, he had, after all, never tried to figure Fuji out. When Fuji wished to let Tezuka know something the puzzle pieces usually just fell into place. Once when Tezuka had been younger his mother had handed him a book entitled 100 Magic Eye Puzzles, Tezuka had enjoyed the mental struggle of putting the puzzles together but did not understand what he was supposed to see in them. His mother who had been passing by after he had finished a particularly difficult one had commented idly 'isn't that a nice sailboat Kunimitsu'.

Tezuka, for the life of him, could not see the sailboat.

As he watched Fuji play against Shitenhouji's captain Tezuka felt like he was seeing the sailboat. Fuji was trying his best, he was aiming to win, and was playing seriously. Fuji had developed, and had obviously listened to him.

Fuji had made all the moves in their relationship, and was now waiting for Tezuka to make his.

--

"Fuji." Tezuka had spoke softly outside Kawamura Sushi. Fuji was standing on one side of the entrance, reaching to open the door.

"Ah?" Fuji turned his smiling face to Tezuka. His cheeks were still flush with victory and his mood far cheerier since Momoshiro and Kaidoh's win. Fuji's defeat had upset him deeply and the fact that Tezuka had not offered comfort was like a pebble in Tezuka's shoe.

"Finals are approaching." Fuji's expression shifted from cheery to mildly puzzled. "During my stay in Kyushu I fell behind."

That was a lie; Tezuka had easily handled the work sent to him by his teachers. He had even mailed his teachers corrections to their lesson plans. Still, it was a believable lie, one that would make Oishi fret if he found out. Fuji's smile widened to the point it became a grin, and he opened his eyes, allowing Tezuka a glimpse of how genuine his mirth was.

"Mmm, I'm willing to tutor you Tezuka." Fuji chuckled as he stepped into the sushi shop. "Should I charge you in tennis matches?"

Tezuka entered the sushi shop behind Fuji, ignoring his raucous teammates for a minute longer. "If you intend to beat Rikkai, I would recommend it." Pulled away by Kawamura pressing a cup of tea into his hands and Oishi questioning what had kept him so long Fuji felt his shoulders relax a fraction. You did not attempt to keep a cat, after all, but they might return when offered cream.