Title: Intangible Feeling
Genre: General/Romance… maybe…
Disclaimer: I wish I own Prince of Tennis…
Warnings: Switching perspective and maybe… a little OOC-ness. Hope not, tho…
A/N: A sequel to "Friends". Please read it first if you haven't, so you can follow this one. Oh, and I hope I didn't get too OOC in this one… .
Dedicated to acantabloom who wanted to know more of Tezuka's feelings and vierblith who asked for a sequel
Tezuka Kunimitsu's eyes were furious. He had been looking and waiting, but there was still no sign of Fuji showing up yet. Fuji Shusuke never comes late. Yet he figured that this time, the tensai might even ditch practice. Or, was he absent?
"Kikumaru," Tezuka called the acrobatic player who was running his laps for being late. Kikumaru jogged to the captain and threw him a questioning look.
"Nya?" he asked.
"Did Fuji not come to school today?" he asked the tensai's classmate.
"Umm," the redhead looked dubious. "He did come… but he was gone before I knew it after school. And I was searching for him earlier—that's why I'm late, by the way—but I couldn't find him. And I thought he might have gone to practice ahead of me, but I figured he did not, nya!"
Tezuka heaved a sighed. "Alright, continue your laps," Tezuka commanded.
"Unya" Kikumaru continued his laps. He was hoping that Tezuka would spare him if he told the captain that he was looking for Fuji, but well… Tezuka was Tezuka after all.
Tezuka sighed again. Even after yesterday's incident, Tezuka didn't expect this to happen. He thought Fuji was the kind of person who would just show up today and act like nothing happen. Well, maybe he was, but the fact that he didn't show up today… was it because he was really upset?
Yesterday was the day Tezuka was finally confronted Fuji after he was certain that Fuji was not himself lately. He needed Fuji to solve whatever problem he had so that it wouldn't affect the tensai's tennis play. He needed Fuji's full potential for the upcoming tournament. And as the captain and his good friend, Tezuka was willing to help Fuji if he could. Not only because he needed the tensai's skill, but also because he cared for him as a friend
But Fuji felt differently about this friendship, he figured. No, he wasn't mad or disappointed at Fuji for falling in love with him. In fact, it was too sudden that Tezuka didn't know what to think or what to feel. He was just… confused.
Sure, he liked Fuji. Literally. Fuji was a good friend, a very good asset for the tennis club, a rival in tennis… and someone who understood him well despite the lack of conversation. He was comfortable being around Fuji and appreciating the silent understanding they've been sharing. They needed no words. They were capable of only having their eyes did the talks.
And yesterday, Fuji's eyes were telling him that the tensai loved him.
And they both knew that it was wrong.
God made humans as males and females so that they would love those of the opposite gender, right? Like Adam and Eve… So wasn't "love" supposed to happen between a male and a female?
That's what made it wrong, Tezuka thought. Fuji IS a male, and they were supposed to be friends, weren't they? And that's when he blurted out his statement. He thought that "love" should not exist between them since both of them are males. Yet he wanted Fuji to stay as his friends.
Was he being selfish? Or mean? Did he hurt Fuji too much? But he was doing the right thing, wasn't he? Then why was Tezuka felt so wrong he had stated the words?
Tezuka looked to his side, where Fuji usually would stand. Now the space felt hollow.
Maybe he was too used to Fuji's presence.
"Tezuka's been looking for you, you know," Kikumaru said to the boy standing beside him, on the rooftop. "Everyone was making a fuss too! They keep bugging me with questions and I don't know how to answer, nya!" he whined.
"I'll pay you back, Eiji," his friend responded.
Kikumaru looked at his friend and grinned. "You do know that I don't accept wasabi-sushi as payment, do you?"
"Don't worry about it," Fuji smiled. A genuine smile he had after the past three days.
"You're sooo going to have 1000 laps assigned for you when you're back, nya!" Kikumaru teased him.
"Well, that would be a problem, ne," Fuji merely laughed, but the laughter was faltered soon enough as he had this faraway look in his eyes.
"You haven't come to practice for three days already, Fujiko," Kikumaru demanded. "Something happened with Tezuka?"
"Well, not really," the tensai smiled. "But I have something to sort out here. I need to do that before I can come back to practice," Fuji still smiled, and then turned his gaze to the blue sky.
"Sorting out what?" Kikumaru asked.
Fuji smiled at him, eyes opened. No, not in anger, but to give his best friend a chance to 'see' him. "My feelings," he answered. "And…"
Fuji's smile, Kikumaru noticed, had slightly changed into something… else. No, not the sadistic one, but maybe close to the scheming one. Yet there's something else mixed in the scheming smile Fuji had. Something more like… hope? Oh well, Kikumaru slightly shrugged for not finding the right word.
"And what?" Kikumaru asked.
"I want to prove something."
Tezuka started to feel irritated. How come Fuji was always gone just in time before he showed up in his classroom, looking for him? And Kikumaru did not help at all for the redhead always said that he didn't know where Fuji went.
"He said he had something to take care of, but he didn't tell me what it was," was Kikumaru's answer when Tezuka asked if he know why Fuji never showed up at practice. He lied, obviously. Kikumaru knew something. He was never good at lying, especially to Tezuka. But Tezuka let it slip this time. Fuji must have told him not to tell anyone—Tezuka specifically, he knew.
Yesterday was the fourth day. Tezuka was restraining himself not to call Fuji for he thought Fuji might need some time without him. But he started to get anxious. Just how long Fuji planned to avoid him? It's really unlike Fuji for totally avoiding things like this.
Did he hurt Fuji that much?
And at that thought, he felt something in his chest was aching.
Today was the fifth day. The other regulars kept asking Kikumaru and Kikumaru kept telling them that he knew nothing, that he was worried too.
"Tezuka, you really have no idea why Fuji isn't coming to practice?" Oishi carefully asked Tezuka.
Tezuka did not answer. Oishi asked no more for he saw the captain was stiffened, and he had this unreadable expression Oishi could not fathom.
Fuji descended the stairs slowly. He had been in the rooftop for quite some time already. Well, he thought that he had done sorting out his feelings. At first, he was sure that he would try to kill his love for Tezuka, but he could not.
While it's true that he was smart enough to know that loving those of the same gender was wrong, he could not just kill the love he had, for each time he tried, love seemed to mock him and just growing bigger and bigger.
So he gave up.
Fuji let out a silent little laugh.
He was the tensai Fuji Shusuke. He could get anything when he wanted to and would most likely, never loose to anything when he really tried to. Yet he gave up to this invisible, incomprehensible ambiguous thing called love? Talking about irony…
Well, he told Tezuka that they would always be friends; that is true. But no one said anything about someone could not and should not come to love his friend, right? Even if the whole world were to disapprove it and the society were to against it, his love for Tezuka was inevitable.
So he decided. He would not burden Tezuka any further. It's about time to go back to practice anyway, so he would return to Tezuka's side as 'just' a friend.
A friend that would love him only in silence.
Fuji smirked. Imagining himself could only love Tezuka silently was indeed lonely. But he didn't mind at all. He just wanted to love Tezuka, that's all.
'Love is such an intangible feeling, ne…'
Tezuka was silent as he blankly watched the others practicing. Tezuka was lost in his own thought. He looked to his side that seemed to feel more and more hollow as days passed by.
Fuji used to stand there.
Fuji used to be by his side.
Fuji used to support him in his silence.
Fuji's mere presence used to comfort him.
Really, he never knew that he was too used to Fuji being around him. And now that Fuji wasn't there, he felt something had missing. Like there was a gap in his own presence. That he wasn't whole without Fuji by his side.
After all, Fuji's existence could be compared as the air he needed to breathe.
Always there, needed to survive, yet invisible.
He wasn't sure if that was love. Hell, he didn't even know what kind of feeling love was. But he did know one thing, and he was now sure of it.
Just as how he needed air to breathe, he needed Fuji by his side.
And with that resolve, he decided that he would look for Fuji now, even if he had to ditch practice and searched the whole school or left the school and go straight to Fuji's house. But before he could even move a muscle, Kikumaru shouted in glee and ran towards the court entrance, followed by Oishi.
Tezuka startled and promptly turned his head to the court's entrance.
He was there.
The figure he had been missing was there, walking slowly into the court, with his regular jersey on.
Fuji Shusuke was there.
"I'm glad you come today. We were so worried," Oishi smiled at the tensai, relieved.
"Fuji-senpai! Where have you been?" Momoshiro asked as he jogged to approach his senpai, and so did the other regulars.
"I never expected Fuji-senpai would actually ditch practice," Echizen commented, in a rather sarcastic tone, for that was the only way he knew to show his concern.
"You finally back! GREAT-OOO!!" Kawamura shouted while holding a racket.
"Well, I feel that if I ditched any more practice, I would be forced to take this jersey off," Fuji smiled while tugging at his own jersey. "And I wouldn't want that," he continued as his smiled widened upon seeing his friends concern looks.
"There is 93.5 chance that that will not happen, Fuji, for you're one of our best players here." Inui remarked while scribbling on his green notebook. "Although there is also 72.4 chance that there will be conflict among all of us if you were to absent for too long without any words.
"I know. I'm sorry. It's just I have something personal that I have to take care of," the tensai smiled. A sincere smile, Inui noticed upon reading his data of Fuji.
The crowd went silent as they saw their captain was slowly approaching the tensai with an unreadable expression that seemed a little different from his usual stoic look.
"Long time no see, Tezuka," Fuji smiled. Tezuka flinched at the oh-so-casual tone. He was worried all these times and Fuji just showed up so casually just like that?
But, well… that's Fuji for you.
"Fuji," Tezuka called in such a low-tone, as if his voice was held back in his throat.
The tensai smiled at him, and said, "I know. Twenty laps for being late. Fifty laps for being absent for days without words. And thirty laps for making everyone worried. That made a total of a hundred laps, ne?" Fuji asked, still smiling.
Tezuka nodded. Inwardly amazed at how the tensai could guess even for things he hadn't think of yet, for his head was busy registering the fact that Fuji was back.
"I wonder if I could really run a hundred laps," Fuji smiled.
"Worry not, Fuji. I have this special Inui juice to increase your stamina," Inui was suddenly there with a glassful of greenish liquid.
"Why, thank you," Fuji accepted the glass and emptied the content, with his friends looking at him in horror.
"How is it?" Inui asked as Fuji returned the glass.
"Not bad. Maybe I'll last for a hundred laps, thank you."
As the others busy throwing comments at how Fuji would last with that juice or how the juice might even worsen his condition, Tezuka was relieved somehow. Fuji was back to his old self, before he noticed that something was wrong with him. He was so relieved that he just realized that he had been really, really worried.
"I better start my laps now," Fuji said as he readied to jog out of the court.
"Wait, one more thing," Tezuka's voice halted Fuji in mid steps.
Fuji turned his head and smiled at Tezuka. Actually he was still nervous to face Tezuka, but he made up his mind. "What is it?" he asked.
"Do not EVER do that again," Tezuka said in a half-commanding and half-pleading tone which only Fuji could catch.
"Do what?" Fuji asked, slightly confused.
"Absent without words and making me—" Tezuka paused to correct his words, "—us worried," he continued.
"I know, I'm sorry," Fuji smiled yet again.
"And," Tezuka blurted out. But when Fuji made a wondering face, he decided not to say it with words. "Nothing," he said. Yet his eyes were looking straight into the tensai, as if it was a hidden message he knew only Fuji would understand.
Fuji stunned for a moment, eyes opened to catch the message, and soon, his lips curved to a knowing smile. "Yeah, I'll always stay," he said.
"Stay where?" Kikumaru asked his friend curiously.
"Here of course, in the tennis club," Fuji replied the redhead before finally started his laps. Before he completely gone out of sight, though, he glanced at Tezuka and smiled.
As he ran, Fuji could not help himself not to smile. He somehow knew what Tezuka was telling him through his eyes, and was happy with that.
'I'm glad you're back.'
"Maa, I think it won't hurt to hope and wait for a little longer," Fuji mumbled to himself.
As Fuji ran outside the court, Tezuka watched him from afar. Only by knowing that Fuji was there, Tezuka was able to relax a bit. Just by the mere presence of Fuji, the gap in his own presence was slowly filled in. Once again, he could "breathe".
'I'll always stay.'
Tezuka's eyes had softened as he replayed Fuji's voice in his head. He never knew what the strange feeling inside his stomach was, upon remembering Fuji's words.
Probably, Tezuka thought, he should started to learn how to figure out and deal with the intangible feeling that was now slowly growing inside him.
Practice was over a while ago, yet Fuji still had about 23 laps more to go. Really, even if what he planned had worked out, running a hundred laps in return was quiet… tiring… And he could not cheat on his laps, since even if everyone else had gone home, Tezuka was still there, waiting for him to finish his 100 laps. Now, a slight regret came to his mind as he thought maybe he shouldn't ditch for too long.
As he passed Tezuka, he gave his buchou a side glance. Even if it's just a split-second, their eyes met and Fuji felt slight warmth in Tezuka's eyes. He smiled to himself and kept running.
Well, at least he wasn't ditching for nothing, after all.
His first day of ditching was purely because of his heartbroken state. He tried to kill the love he had for Tezuka, but failed miserably.
But on the second day, he started to clear up his mind and tried to deal with his feelings. That was when he remembered an old saying. And just to see if the old saying would apply to Tezuka, he decided that he would not show up in front of Tezuka for a while and see what would happen.
Kikumaru told him that Tezuka had been looking for him was a good sign, he thought. So he'd like to see if he did not show up for another day. He just wanted to see what Tezuka would feel without him around.
As he stole a glance at Tezuka and found the captain was looking his way too, Fuji smiled to himself. So that old saying was right after all, Fuji thought.
You never knew what you got 'till it's gone.
-oOEND OF THE ENDOo-
A/N: Ahahah… Fuji's being a little scheming here, I think…
Well, they haven't got together yet, but I think it will happen someday, ne? xD
Anyway, I finally made the sequel, thanks to all of my reviewers in "Friends", at LJ and ffnet
I hope this can erase all of the sadness in Friends, and I'm sorry if this isn't satisfactory yet, but by all means, reviews will be loved!!
Oh, and sorry if I made any grammatical errors. Critics would be appreciated so I can learn