Prince of Tennis (c) Konomi...and it's going to stay that way.
I'm back home!! As opposed to being on a stuffy airplane when I wrote this...so I might not be up to par. But ack...I still have summer homework to do. I'm so pro at procrastinating. And I'm pretty sure I spelled that wrong x-x. Anyways, thanks for the reviews and please enjoy!
Shattered Silken Eyes
I go outside. I realize that it's cold and I should have brought a jacket. It's snowing lightly, and I can feel the icy flakes sticking to my cheeks. I stick my hands into my pockets and I stare up at the ominously darkening sky and I wonder how I'm going to get home. Tezuka's car is right there by the sidewalk, but of course, that's no longer an option.
I wish Atobe was here, dependable, limitless, richer than heaven itself Atobe. I wish that I could dive into the warm predictable circle of his arms and lie to myself, to call him mine again.
I sigh, I get out my cell phone and prepare to call Atobe, knowing how absolutely infuriated he will be with me. Somehow, I'm glad for it. It feels good to have someone call you an idiot, that way you don't lie to yourself.
I shut the phone maybe about three seconds after I've opened it. I can't do it. Not yet.
I take my hands out of my pockets and stare at them. They are red with cold. These are the hands I would have used to hold him to me. But they are weak hands.
"You are angry at me, Fuji." I feel a familiar warmth standing close to me, but nothing touches me. "You're angry that I did not wait for you." There is a strange prickling warmness that settles itself on the back of my neck. It might have been his hands or his lips. I try not to hope.
"For the fucking millionth time, I'm not angry at you." I say, without turning around, "Stop thinking that." I get out my phone again, "I just…lost my appetite that's all." I fish out my wallet and get out a handful of bills without looking, it's a horrible habit that I've picked up from Atobe. I turn and I press the bills into Tezuka's chest. "Here's money for your trouble."
"Does everyone talk like this in France?" He takes the money from me, "A curse word one second and compensating your shortcomings with this…this…" He looks up the money, "Ridiculous amount of money? I can't accept this." He proceeds to count the money, and handing most of it back to me.
I take it. It's another chance for our fingers to brush and I don't bother getting out my wallet again, stuffing the money directly into my pocket. "And you're as straight-laced as ever." I look at the ground and I concentrate on the flakes covering his shoes and mine.
"And you've somehow turned insulting." His tone is biting. "I don't like it."
"I'm glad you don't." I snap at him, no, rather, at his shoes. "It makes it easier on me. In fact, I wish…that you would just…hate me. I don't know what to do now."
"I can hate you, if that's what you want me to do. After all, I have all the reasons to despise you." Tezuka sighs. "Is that you want?"
I shake my head. "No." I reach out and I grab his hands. They are warm enough to sting. His fingers stiffen but I don't care. "No. Don't hate me. I…" I rub his hands against my cheeks, feeling them flush.
"You're a mess." He supplies tonelessly, though his hands stay where I want them to.
I feel like shaking him. "I'm a mess because of you, Tezuka!" I let go of his hands and I stuff my hands into my pockets. "Every time I see you, every time I think about you, even, I get these shivers and feelings that I don't know what to do with. I'm messed up. I don't know what to do. I'm fucking pathetic, Tezuka. This is who I am. I've changed."
He settles his hands on my shoulders, and I still don't look at him. "Not for the better." Tezuka says, still too calmly.
"You don't have to tell me." I shake myself free from his grasp and I turn away, "I should call Atobe and have him pick me up. You can go back to work now, I'm sorry I dragged you out here…"
I stop, but I don't turn. "Don't call to me like that, I'll end up doing something that I don't want to…I mean…" I clench my fists, "Just…just don't."
"Is this what you want?" He asks bluntly.
I feel like punching him, almost. "No. This isn't want to what I want! How can you be so…" I walk back to him and I look him in the eye. How close he is to me, but he's far away. The simple ring he wears on his finger keeps him from me. I feel like tearing it off of his finger and throwing it into the nearest gutter. "How can you be so stupid?"
He looks back at me. "I can't read your mind. You've never said anything. How can you expect…" Tezuka trails off, and dabs at the corners of my eyes again, with a napkin that miraculously materializes. "For once in your life, do what you want to do. What do you want to do?"
I take a step back, and his hand drops to his side again.
"You love Misao, Misao loves you. I can't. Both of you are important to me. I can't just…ruin all of it." I shake my head, "No. You can't make me do this, Tezuka, I won't let you. I've…I've made too many mistakes already."
"Yes." A simple word, a simple command that is impossible to follow.
"I can't believe you. You're getting married. There is no way…" I rub my eyes hard with the back of my hand to keep them from watering so much. "Look…I'm sorry. I'm sorry that I wasn't here when she was. But I can't. It's not fair to either of us; it's not fair to Misao, either."
Tezuka says nothing at first, but he takes a single step and closes the distance between us. We are touching, but not touching. He reaches up a hand to touch me, and the cold metal of his ring is stinging.
He takes off his ring, and drops it in his pocket, in a motion that altogether too careless to suit Tezuka.
"Pretend I'm not getting married. Pretend I'm eighteen again. And say what you want to say, do what you want to do." He says, eyes boring through mine, sending familiar, panicky shivers down my spine. "Do it."
"You make it sound so easy." I laugh, but it's a awkward laugh, loud enough so that people turn and stare at us.
Tezuka looks at me strangely, "Why? You had the nerve to kiss me, the nerve to invite me out to lunch, and then storm out on me, and then shower me with riddles while people stare at us in the street. How is this any more difficult?"
"It is." I glare at him.
"No." He is calm, too calm that I almost hate him for it. "It is not, because you are Fuji. You've always wanted me the way I am now. I'm here. Do what you've always wanted to do. Misao and Atobe are not here to stop you."
I break. Something cracks within me, I'm still not sure if it's good or bad. But I find my face pressed tightly against his chest, my arms locked against his waist. I feel the vague heat of more stares, but I don't care.
"I've done it. What I want to do." I say. "It's freezing. Hold me, you're not married now, so I can."
His arms don't move.
"I can't believe you let me kiss you, but you won't hold me." I look at him, but he is not looking at me. "Please. I'm dying right now; keep me from dying for a little while longer."
"Just a little while longer." He agrees, and holds me. His arms are warm, yet it's a different warmth when Atobe holds me. His embrace is not at all demanding. I love him for it. Just for a little while longer, we are what I've always wanted us to be.
I let go first, and the bewilderment in his eyes tells me he doesn't understand any of it. Which is just as well because I don't get it myself, I take his hand and he lets me, I smile up at him.
His mouth twitches, but of course Tezuka does not manage a smile. "I have a feeling that I just got into something I can't get out of." He says, in all seriousness as he looks down at our intertwined hands.
I sigh, "I'm sorry. If…" My eyes trail to his ring finger, still free and white and mine without the ring. "If you want me to go away, put your ring back on. I'll go away and never appear before you again."
I look at him, "So is the prospect of seeing you married, waking beside someone else. Knowing that you'll always be nearby, but you'll never be able to kiss and hold me the way I want you to. I do not have you, Tezuka Kunimitsu. Even if you stand here wearing no ring." I sigh, "…I should go." I turn from him.
"I like you, Fuji. You're an important person in my life." He doesn't move, his fingers tighten around mine and I feel another unfamiliar tremble, "Don't go."
"This is all we will ever be." I feel tears coming to my eyes again, and before I can raise up my free hand to wipe them, warm fingertips are brushing them away. "I don't want to hurt anyone. I really don't."
"This isn't what you want." He says simply.
"No. It's not." I agree tonelessly.
He shakes me, hard enough to hurt, hard enough to leave my teeth rattling. "I'm not going to ask you again. You're a better person than that, Fuji. You've denied yourself so much. It's all right to be a little selfish. What do you want?"
"This isn't just 'a little bit' selfish, Tezuka." I almost want to laugh at the absurdity of it.
"Just tell me what you want." Cold, unyielding Tezuka, I almost wish that I was drunk again, so I can blame everything on alcohol. But I want it so much. I've never wanted anything—anyone as desperately as I have wanted Tezuka.
"Tell me what you want, Fuji." He says, too calmly. "I'm here now, you'll never have me again."
I kiss him. I don't give a fuck that there are people watching, I don't care that there's a ring in his pocket that binds him to someone else, someone that I have the misfortune to call friend. All that matters is the taste of his mouth, the bitter tang of something tainting the tip of his tongue and mine.
It's a dizzying feeling, and when I pull away, he leans in to kiss me again, drinking me up just as hungrily as I've always imagined him. I lick along the roof of his mouth, and I am all but lost in him.
Our bodies are pressed close together, and I want so much to rip of his clothes, taste every inch of him. His mouth is now trailing down the hollow of my throat. The warmth stings my skin, and I arch back my head.
My hands are stroking his sides, and I can feel the wonderful tautening of his body, tightening with desire for me. The way that I've always wanted it to be, even if it is in the middle of the street.
We both pull back, and I brush stray strands of hair out of my eyes. I open my mouth, to tell him how much I loved him, perhaps, but I realize just how many people are staring and I flush very red and close my mouth.
Tezuka's composure is ever unchanged, with remarkable poise he grabs my hand again, as if it is the most natural thing in the world again, and the crowd that gathers dutifully part to let us walk to his car, it might have been laughable, but I'm much too embarrassed to consider such an option. "Let's go, Fuji."
I can feel the unfamiliar heat radiating around both of us. It's the heat, and the infinitely tantalizing realization that we could be more together than we have ever dreamed of.
At least, for me, it's like that.
After finding myself in a hotel room overlooking the dismal streets below, I watch Tezuka latch the door with uncharacteristic clumsiness and I realize with a quickening of heartbeats that things are probably like that for him too.
I sink down on the soft mattress of the only bed, and he joins me, his hands reach out to touch me, as if I'm a precious piece of porcelain, and I realize for the millionth time how much I love him, and how much of an idiot I am, being like this.
"…This isn't like you, Tezuka." I say, trying to shy away from his touch, but the waves of pleasure cascading down on me melts my resolve with every passing caress. "We…we should talk about this…rationally so…"
He cuts me off abruptly by placing a rough kiss on my lips. "This type of thing is never rational. You want this." Another kiss, rougher than the last, and I moan loudly.
"…Y-yes. But…" My hands reach up to clench the loose fabric of his shirt and I feel yet another irresistible wave of pleasure wash over me. "You…"
Tezuka lets me fall back against the white sheets, white sheets that I know that we will soon soil. They are not silk, so that doesn't matter. He kisses my throat gently, and lies down with me. I have lain with Atobe like this; millions of times, never once does my face flame so red.
"I wear no ring." He says, his face at once expressionless, the light in his eyes are gone, and there is suddenly a chill in the room that wasn't before. "While I wear no ring, I can do what I want to do. This is what I want."
I cover his hands with my own, "What do you want?"
"To rescue you." Tezuka kisses me, stretching over me. "From dying, I see it. Even if you did not tell me. Your eyes are so cold, Fuji. And when I kiss you, I feel them warm up."
My eyes are watering. I feel the gentle brushing of his tongue over my eyes, "I'm not dreaming." I am not dreaming, I know this, because every kiss is the most painful thing. I lock my arms around his neck and rock with him.
He lifts up my sweater and caresses my warm body with his warm hands. He suckles one nipple I try half-heartedly to cover. His mouth pushes aside my fingers with even gentler kisses, and I relent.
I play with the buttons with his shirt, nuzzling the skin that is exposed to me. He breathes sharply and I grin up at him, a knowing child's grin. And he lets me press him down on the bed, while I sprawl on top of him, tasting and exploring his body the way I've always wanted. My knee accidentally digs into his groin and I realize that Tezuka has a lovely moan.
After a while, gentleness is no longer a part of it, and there is as much pain as there is pleasure. I scream, and I wonder vaguely if there are innocent guests next door with ears pressed to the wall. I wonder because I used to be an innocent guest, it's a fact that I'm no longer proud of.
My lips are numb from kissing, and there is such rawness to everything. Tezuka's ragged breathing and my unsteady heartbeats are foggy to my ears. It makes it all the more real. It's the most beautiful thing in the world. Everything I have ever wanted it to be.
When the sheets are properly soiled, I lie limp in Tezuka's arms.
I must have fallen asleep soon after that, for when I open my eyes again, Tezuka is still holding me loosely to him, but he is dressed, while the only thing that I'm wearing is the dirtied sheets that I almost wish that I can take back with me.
He kisses me, and I let out a pleased sigh. "…What time is it?"
I shoot up, clutching the sheets to me, suddenly more aware than ever of my nakedness. "You have to go to work." I lean over the side of the bed groping for the clothes that are somewhere. "I'll take a taxi back or get Atobe to come get me or something…where are my clothes?"
Tezuka stares at me for a good minute, and walks the length of the room to get to a chair that has my clothes draped over it. He brings them to me, and helps me dress, his fingers linger on every inch of skin that is about to be covered.
I pull the sweater over my head and then my jeans, dressed again; it makes what we did seem even more unforgivable, yet all the more precious and lovely. I touch a hand to his cheek.
"Your hands are cold." He says, somewhat disapproving.
I smile, "Saa…I guess when you're not warming them up, that's what happens."
"You're a tease, Fuji." Tezuka kisses me, and covers both of my hands. "I'll drive you home."
I promptly forget about taking a taxi.
The smallest car is missing from the garage, the Atobe family owns a grand total of five cars, and not all of them get driven. Which seems to me a waste of time. Tezuka parks on the driveway this time.
We kiss, taking our time about it, because I know for a fact that Atobe's not going to pop out of nowhere, but even that has an end. I move to get out of the car, "Au revoir, then, Tezuka."
His fingers clamp around my wrist, when I have one foot out the door. "Wait."
I pause, and look back at him, his expression is the strangest I've ever seen, "What?"
"The last time you told me that, I never saw you again." He says, his words sound a little bit shaky, as if he has trouble forming them.
I look at his fingers around my wrist, "And the moment I get out of this car, you're going to put your ring back on, it's all the same." Though that's not at all what I want to say. It's too late to take the words back.
He doesn't seem offended. "At least I'm not the one running away."
The words sting and I almost glare at him, "I'm not running away anymore." I take a deep breath and move to embrace him, he first stiffens then relaxes. "I'm going to hold you to me and never let you go ever again." I place a gentle kiss on the side of his neck. I let go
Tezuka looks dazed, and I smile and climb out of the car, "Even if you put on your ring. Have a safe drive back." I blow him a kiss and wave as he backs down the driveway.