To Make an Attempt
Prompt: Tezuka finds a room (of Fuji) with Tezuka's pictures in it
Warning: UST and a bit of angst and, uh, yes, kissing
Disclaimer: Tezuka and Fuji belong to each other and were made for each other by Konomi Takeshi.
A/N: For Thin-K. Have to sleep. Shall proofread later. Reviews are loved, very much!
"Please tame me." –the fox, the Little Prince
"Taka-san is already married," Fuji said, smiling at Tezuka.
"I know," Tezuka said. He had his eyes on Fuji, watching as the latter hovered above the stove and stirred their dinner. "I got the invitation, but – "
"You were too busy," said Fuji, finishing the sentence for Tezuka. He ladled a small amount of the noodle-soup into a bowl and tasted it, licking the soup on his lips. Satisfied, he turned the stove off and began serving their meal. "You're always too busy."
Tezuka peered at Fuji beneath his spectacles. Fuji did not sound at all accusing or demanding; Tezuka understood that Fuji was simply pointing out a fact. Tezuka nodded.
"That's why you don't get a girlfriend," Fuji chuckled over his steamy noodle-bowl.
"That means you're never too busy," Tezuka retorted. He caught a flash of blue in Fuji's eyes before Fuji broadened his smile.
"Wrong. I actually get girlfriends because I'm busy," said Fuji lightheartedly. He took a mouthful of the noodles and tilted his head as if waiting for or, perhaps, challenging Tezuka to respond.
"Your models," Tezuka said, unsurprised that the words came out wry. "You move through them quickly."
"I've never been serious with anyone of them," Fuji said with a shrug. He smiled genially. "I just enjoy their company, I suppose."
Tezuka took a sip of water to remove the growing sting of wasabi around his lips. He couldn't stop Fuji from adding wasabi to anything that Fuji cooked. And it happened to become a part his habit as well – he'd add a tolerable amount of wasabi to whatever he'd prepare especially when Fuji visited. "You're hardly serious," he pointed out. But he recognized the tone of reassurance that Fuji used and he felt inwardly relieved.
They had known each other for nearly nine years. And everyone who knew them also knew that they were very close. If anyone had a problem contacting Tezuka, he would call Fuji right away. If anyone was having trouble with Fuji's jokes, he'd call Tezuka in a jiffy.
But they both knew what had transpired and what was lingering between them was a matter beyond mere friendship. If they were ordinary friends, postcards, emails and holiday greetings would have sufficed. They wouldn't need to visit each other often, to seek out each other's advice, or to crave for each other's presence.
That was not the case, however. Whenever Tezuka was abroad, Fuji always made it a point to call him every week. And Tezuka would take the call, whatever time it was in Germany, in Australia, in Britain or in America to listen to Fuji talk about his new photos or about Yuuta or about random things. Fuji never missed a single important match in Tezuka's career. He was always there to take pictures or, sometimes, to simply watch. He would often smile knowingly whenever Tezuka had the advantage or open his eyes when something seemed to be wrong. After those matches, win or lose, Fuji would wait at Tezuka's room to share his thoughts, to catch up on things, to have dinner and to have a cup of coffee or two.
Fuji understood that Tezuka could rarely come to his photo exhibits, but Tezuka would, afterwards, call to congratulate Fuji, his deep, ringing voice chasing away Fuji's exhaustion for the day. And after every match, Tezuka tried to call Fuji, to ask for advice on how his new technique could be improved, to share that after draining matches his left arm would sting or to say that his last opponent was really strong. And every time Tezuka went home to Japan, Fuji was the first person he'd visit, always.
They weren't fools to not know what had emerged between them. They both recognized it in their usual, silent agreement. They did not bother to deny what it was because it had been there since they first met, only then, it took an innocent, harmful form.
But their recognition did not come with action. It was another one of their unspoken consensuses, to never acquiesce to what they were feeling, to never be rash and reckless. Tezuka was an only son and he had a responsibility to his family. He was expected to marry, have a child and bring honor to his family. He also had his career to consider. Fuji, though more free to choose, also had his family, especially his father, to think of. His father wanted him to take business but he picked photography. If he couldn't comply with that part of his father's expectations, he considered that he should at least carry on their name. Therefore they had no choice but to content themselves with these visits, with these talks, with these meals.
Regardless of the stern way they guarded themselves against any emotional manifestation, however, they both eventually realized that they both wanted, needed more.
The incident took place two years ago, when Fuji celebrated his twentieth birthday. Kikumaru, as child-hearted and flighty as ever had suggested a game of "Truth or Dare." They had all agreed and Kikumaru was so triumphant when the bottle pointed to Fuji. He uncaringly told Fuji to kiss Tezuka in front of everyone, to know whether Tezuka would glare or make Fuji run laps.
Fuji's penchant for challenges and the glazed look in Tezuka's eyes made the decision. Fuji had turned to Tezuka and had asked, "May I kiss you, Captain?" He had chuckled then, partly amused and partly bemused.
Tezuka would have rejected Fuji then, deflected the kiss or simply glared had it not been for Fuji's revealed blue eyes and the feeling of Fuji's breath on his face. Before Tezuka could even answer, he felt Fuji's lips pressed against his. Then, he felt Fuji's teeth nibbling on his lower lip. He couldn't help but taste the wine when Fuji's tongue flicked against his lips, prying them open. Tezuka had felt dizzy then and gave way, allowing entrance. Their tongues battled, their lips collide. Tezuka sucked on Fuji's tongue and pulled Fuji closer when Fuji moaned against his throat. Tezuka wasn't aware of the staring eyes, he was only aware of the sweet crevices of Fuji's mouth, the –
Fortunately for both Fuji and Tezuka, the bottle they used for spinning gave a thud against the floor. Tezuka and Fuji had parted, faces flushed for their lack of oxygen. Echizen lowered his head, his face was shadowed by cap. Kaidoh look flustered. Inui occupied himself with a data notebook. Oishi seemed to be more interested on the floor. Taka-san had gone over the kitchen counter to busy himself with the sushi. Momoshiro had tried to continue eating. But Kikumaru, the one who started it, was staring openly.
Fuji coughed. "Are we going to continue?" he had asked politely, though his voice was lower than normal.
Kikumaru, too stunned to speak, shook his head. "I think I need to go."
Both Tezuka and Fuji watched and waited in silence as their former teammates piled out of Fuji's apartment. When the last of them – Kikumaru- had shut the door, Fuji inclined his head to see Tezuka's face.
"I'm – "
"Don't," Tezuka had cut Fuji off. He was not going to let Fuji feel guilty for something they both did and wanted. Besides, he knew that it was bound to happen anyway. He rose from the couch and took his coat. "I'll see you tomorrow."
Their routines did not change after that. They still called each other, visited and shared meals. But they became increasingly aware of each other. They both became conscious of the tension. And, sometimes, when the strain was too high, they'd steal a long kiss or two from each other.
Tezuka's head jerked up so that he could see Fuji's face close to his. Fuji was wearing a smile, a proud one. Tezuka twitched his brows, indicating suspicion, which was confirmed when Fuji waved his camera.
"I have a photo of a daydreaming Tezuka Kunimitsu," Fuji said triumphantly. "This is priceless. You have fangirls who would pay millions of yen – no – dollars to have this."
Tezuka wrinkled his brow, as if in disapproval, but he knew that Fuji always kept his photos and would not give one away unless to Tezuka himself.
"I'll go take a shower now and don't bother with the dishes," Fuji said, moving toward his room. "Ah, and the shirt I borrowed from you is clean now. You can take it from my closet later, top left shelf."
Tezuka heard the click of Fuji's door and he looked at the dishes. Though Fuji told him not to bother, he still washed them. It was only a polite thing to do and he had nothing to occupy himself with while Fuji took a shower. But they used only a few utensils and he was done in a few minutes.
Remembering what Fuji had told him, he entered Fuji's room and headed toward the closet. If he hadn't known Fuji, he would have been awed by the size of Fuji's built-in closet. But he knew that Fuji was fond of clothes. He spotted the shirt that folded neatly on the shelf, just as Fuji had indicated.
Tezuka was about to close the closet door when he caught sight of another door at the far end of the closet. It was well-concealed, painted with the same light brown as the wardrobe save for the silver glistening doorknob.
His interest piqued, he walked toward the room and stopped at what he saw. A soft smile, almost wistful, graced his lips as he saw his pictures plastered all over the walls and stood framed on top of the shelves.
"Tezuka?" He heard Fuji call, but he did not move from his position. Instead, he waited for Fuji to come, silently wondering and feeling guilty that they had to give up before they even tried.
He heard Fuji's footsteps approach him and he could sniff in the familiar scent of Fuji's hair and Fuji's shampoo. He spun around and waited.
Fuji looked up, wet hair clinging to his skin, towel wrapped low around his waist. "Ah, you spoiled the surprise I'm preparing for your birthday," he said cheerfully. "But I don't mind." He smiled. "It's just a couple of weeks away, after all."
Tezuka reached out, his hand removing the stray strand of hair that clung on Fuji's face. Fuji noticeably shuddered not because of the cold but because of the touch. He cupped Fuji's face in his hand and bent down to press a swift kiss on Fuji's lips.
"Tezuka," said Fuji in a sharp reminder. His blue eyes glinted.
"Why did we never consider trying?" Tezuka asked in a low voice, leaning his head against Fuji's.
"Because it's wrong," Fuji said simply, seemingly unaffected by Tezuka's proximity.
Tezuka's thumb brushed against Fuji's cheeks. "Can we try?"
"Even if it's wrong?" asked Fuji in a low voice. "Would you want to?"
Tezuka shut his eyes and moved closer. "Yes."
Fuji smiled. "Then don't let anything stop you."
"I want to... very much." – the Little Prince