Disclaimer:

Prince of Tennis (c) Konomi...and it's going to stay that way.

Notes:

I came up with this idea after reading 'The Silence of the Lambs' by Thomas Harris, which is by the way, an absolutely brilliant book that you should all read :). But it doesn't have anything to do with criminal psychology, it just has Fuji being a very scary psychiastrist. I have a feeling that this plot is a little mature for me to handle (because I'm a looong way from thirty) but I wanted to try something new. Hope you all enjoy.

-Hanamuke-

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Pandora's Box

Chapter I

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Atobe Keigo was thirty, to be exact, thirty and a month and two days. It was an age once unfathomable to him. He realized for the first time that in another thirty years, he would end up being sixty, an age that inspired treason, in his current state of mind.

Never in a million years did he expect to be thirty, he was, though. And he wondered where all the time went, did he spend it all away, work it all away, vacation it all away?

Never in a million years did he expect to be married, divorced, and a single father. It was like something that came out of those horrible sensation novels he knew the maids that he hired read in their free time.

He married young, because his parents had gone through so much trouble trying to secure a convenient marriage for him, and in marrying Saiko Shizuka, he had secured an unbreakable tie to one of the largest banks in all of Japan, not that he actually needed the connection, but it was nice to be safe.

His (now ex-) wife had been six years older, marking her at twenty-five when they married. Shizuka was used to the luxuries that Atobe had no choice but to shower upon her. She wasn't attractive, but she wasn't a horror to look at either. Atobe used to wake up every morning and reminded himself that his looks and his checkbook were a rarity in combination.

They had a child, a year after marriage, and it had been a girl, a girl that you had to look twice to consider her beautiful. Nobody from Atobe's side of the family said anything, but they both knew that a boy would have made them happier.

That was probably what drove her off the edge, that, and Atobe's tendency to drift from bed to bed after he had done his duty. He did not care in the least that his parents had hoped desperately for a boy. It wasn't like they dared complain to him anyway. He didn't want another child; it would just further complicate things.

Sometimes, he liked things complicated, but Atobe knew early on that while he was an experienced lover, a successful businessman, a generous multi-millionaire, he knew shit about being a husband, let alone a father for the aptly named Aiko (A love child). So he liked his family matters simple.

But when Shizuka started destroying dishes and ripping curtains on an alarmingly regular basis, his family matters became anything but simple. She began nagging incessantly about the possibility of a second child, of course they would make sure that it was a boy this time, science and technologies did wonders nowadays. That way, his parents would be happy.

That was the irony of it; it wasn't his infidelity that drove Shizuka to ultimately divorce him and sue for sole custody of Aiko, who was then just eight. It was his parents, and their absolutely ridiculous hope to have a grandson. Atobe was sure his refusal for a second child had something to do with that too, but still.

Ironically, again, Atobe won custody in the end because Grandpa and Grandma suddenly showered his daughter with a new Shetland pony, like the ones that she saw on television, also a brand-new wardrobe that a young plastic blonde that Atobe almost slept with on several separate occasions bought for Aiko's entrance into the third grade. They wanted her to be the prettiest girl there. They did not want her to look like her mother.

The divorce had been settled for an astronomical amount of money that almost dented his fortune, but didn't. Shizuka had kissed and hugged Aiko goodbye and told the biggest lie by promising her daughter that she would be back soon. Atobe found himself thinking that the woman was brave. But that was the only thing that he thought when he led Aiko away.

There were other gifts too, after the divorce to keep Aiko from missing Shizuka, such as imported makeup from Venice, a new television with cable for her room, a television that Atobe had to unplug and confiscate after every row with his daughter. It was a pain in the ass, but it had to be done.

So Aiko came to hate her father, and Atobe tried and failed to convince himself that it wasn't his fault.

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It was all these factors and then some that found him in a pristine, white reception room and arguing with the receptionist, a steel-eyed brunette that he had tried to flirt with and failed. She seemed adamant that he wasn't going to make it past this reception room without a proper appointment.

"For the last time, the doctor is very busy, unless you have an appointment, you cannot see him." She repeated her rouged mouth a firm line. Why he was paying attention to her mouth at this point and time was beyond Atobe. "Look, I'm an old friend. I have to see Fuji, it's urgent."

"That's Dr. Fuji, sir." She corrected him stuffily, stuffily enough to make Atobe wonder if she was sleeping with Fuji. But even if, it was hard to imagine her sleeping with anyone,"Usually, old friends don't visit at the office. The doctor has a full schedule today, he cannot see you. I will be glad to make an appointment for you."

"At least…go in and tell him that I dropped by." Atobe rolled his eyes, "All right? You can do that, can't you?"

She glared at him, and Atobe felt genuinely disliked, it wasn't a pleasant feeling. "I'll be just a minute, sir. Your name?"

"Atobe."

She did not seem to recognize the name, and that annoyed him a little. Tucking a file expertly under her arm, the receptionist gave him one last meaningful glare and stalked around the corner.

Atobe sank down on one of the chairs that were comfortably plush, which surprised him a little because he hadn't expected the reception room of Dr. Fuji Syusuke to have such expensive chairs. He picked up a random magazine and read something about projected kangaroo extinction.

"But Doctor, I told him he didn't have an appointment, and plus, your schedule is all filled up today. You have Sakamoto-san in an half an hour, I know you haven't eaten…sir, he's incredibly rude, you're not really going to see him, are you?"

Atobe scoffed and hid behind the magazine, lest he got up and strangled the receptionist.

"Atobe Keigo." The voice was both familiar and unfamiliar. "Are you here to just catch up or does Ore-sama really need to see a psychiatrist? If it's the former, I'll meet you for dinner tonight, provided you're buying."

Atobe flung aside the magazine and got to his feet. He looked down; Fuji Syusuke was still as petite as ever, with the knowing vixen's smile on his lips. He smirked, "How perceptive of you, Dr. Fuji. Which one do you think?"

He felt the blue eyes looking him over, "Well, your collar's not turned right, and your jacket's wrinkled. And your hair." He left the comment there. His smile widened and Atobe felt his own smirk slipping steadily away. "Come with me."

It caused him some small amount of satisfaction to see the receptionist fume as he followed Fuji, and Atobe placed a couple of bills on the counter, "Go buy Dr. Fuji lunch. On me."

Fuji turned, and looked at the money, and then at Atobe, and then at receptionist, he smiled again, this smile was a faintly bemused one. "…Yes, Yukiyo, do as he says. I haven't had this expensive of a lunch for a very long time."

Atobe felt slightly uneasy as Yukiyo took the money and smirked.

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Fuji's office was as pristine and as white as the reception room. It was oddly cold and even more oddly unfamiliar. There were a couple of framed diplomas on the walls, all of the universities top notch. As expected of Fuji Syusuke, Atobe mused. The only bit of personality in this office he could thus far discern was the two pots of cacti settled on the windowsill.

Now without the irritating presence of Yukiyo around, Atobe studied Fuji, as one might study a newly discovered plant. He decided that Fuji looked good in a suit, and he hadn't changed a bit. Smile ever dangerous, and eyes ever watching. It made him just a little bit perturbed.

Fuji closed the door carefully behind him and settled in a leather chair that Atobe recognized as Italian. He had an identical one, in his own office. He himself settled in the chair directly across from what he guessed was Fuji's desk. The chair wasn't near as comfortable.

"I guess first things first," Fuji gave another smile, "How and why did you come find me? Aren't you the Atobe Keigo? The one with the perfect life, nothing ever goes wrong for you. Are you sure this isn't just your excuse not to buy me dinner? Unless you've somehow turned schizophrenic since the last time I saw you, and you're just hiding it well."

"I found you in the yellow pages." Atobe said. Of course he hadn't, he never went through the yellow pages.

"Wasn't aware I had an ad." Fuji returned rather nonchalantly. After giving Atobe a stark once over, one that made Atobe felt like he was being stripped to the core (or, to describe it in fewer words, extremely uncomfortable). "Your collar is still crooked." He said, finally.

"Would you stop it?" Atobe jerked hard at his allegedly crooked collar, "Fuji, I'm thirty."

Fuji made a coughing sound that sounded suspiciously like a laugh, "…I'll be eight on my next birthday in two years. So?"

"Has anyone ever told you that you're incredibly infuriating?" Atobe found himself regretting coming. "Would you just listen to me?"

"I'm listening; you're not telling me anything worth dissecting." Fuji gave him a look that told Atobe that the doctor was slightly miffed—yes, Fuji was an actual doctor; Atobe was going to have to try and start thinking of him like that. "So what if you're thirty? Thirty is an age where you wise up, and you're neither young nor old. If you worked during your twenties, which you either did, or didn't need to, being thirty is a good thing."

"I'm thirty." Atobe repeated, "I'm divorced, I'm a single father, and it's worth mentioning that my daughter despises me. How is that a good thing?"

Fuji began twirling a pen idly between his thumb and forefinger, "It's not. But you have other things. Business must be good, you're not begging yet. You've always had a rich sex life, and I can't see how you'd give that up."

"I haven't." it was not something he was a proud of, he wasn't ashamed of it either, and he and Fuji had talked about worse.

Fuji smiled, "I didn't think so. You didn't flinch when I said 'sex', most people would have. Your life is not all that bad." He put the pen down. "Are you just dissatisfied with it because you're thirty?"

Atobe thought for a moment, "Maybe."

"That's not an answer." Fuji almost sounded displeased, and the slight slip of his smile further proved it. "Think about the answer, Atobe, if it's something you don't want me to know, lie to me, that's all right too."

"I thought doctors didn't like to be lied to." Atobe said, clamming up only with Yukiyo walked in without knocking to deliver Fuji's lunch. Fuji didn't seem to mind, and looked approvingly into the brown paper bag that held his lunch. The smile twitched into a vixen smirk and Atobe found it futile to wait for change.

When Yukiyo was gone, Atobe watched Fuji lay out the contents of his lunch on the desk, in a gesture that was strangely alluring and careless. A gourmet sandwich, a gourmet salad, and a quaint chocolate pastry that was probably more expensive than what it was worth. A cup of Starbucks coffee, it smelled suspiciously like decaf, and a bottle of Perrier water.

He had given her more money than that, and Atobe had to force himself to fume later about the money he lost, it wasn't as if he lost anything of significant importance, it was only a matter of who he lost it too.

Fuji opened the bottle of Perrier first, and two cups materialized from nowhere. He poured generous amounts into both and slid one across the table.

Atobe stared at it, uncertainly.

Fuji said, "It's not poisoned, you saw me open it."

"…It's okay, I'm fine." Yes, he had seen Fuji open the bottle, and he had been watching the whole time, it was just his recollections of Fuji Syusuke in the past inclined him to decline.

"You don't trust me." Fuji sounded neither upset nor angry, in fact, he didn't sound much like anything. "Yet you came to see me. You're a strange one."

Atobe said nothing. "I trust you only on certain terms. You can't blame me."

Fuji agreed with an amiable nod, "No, I can't." he took a sip of Perrier, and his eyes trailed past Atobe for a brief moment, who resisted following the gaze, but failed in the end.

Fuji was staring at the clock. It read one.

"But that's just as well." Fuji's eyes came back to pierce him. Atobe shuddered and couldn't remember the last time that he had ever felt so vulnerable and naked because of a pair of eyes. "I have Sakamoto-san coming in any minute. I'm afraid you'll have to leave. You can make a real appointment for sometime next week if you'd like."

Atobe got to his feet, "I don't have to pay, do I?"

Blue eyes peered at him, all knowing, and they told Atobe absolutely nothing, he felt content just to drown in their fathomless depths. When the eyes finally blinked, Atobe came to. Fuji said, "Even if I asked you to pay, it would make no difference." He gave a half-hearted shrug and smiled. "Think of this as a favor from an old friend."

They weren't exactly old friends, now that Atobe really thought about it, they met occasionally when their circles crossed. Though neither had really gone out of their way. "All right." He nodded and started towards the door.

"Oh, and Atobe?"

He paused, Atobe felt hairs stand up on the back of his neck without knowing exactly why. "What?" He debated about turning, finally deciding not to.

"Think on it, what we said." After another sip of his Perrier water and a smile that was so calm that it was infuriating, Fuji said, "It was nice to see you."