Disclaimer: I do not own Prince of Tennis
A/N: There are probably very little facts in this fic, because I did no research. And it will be told entirely from Tezuka's point of view.
He was in hell. There was no other explanation for the situation he was in now.
Or it could be a nightmare. That might be even more believable then the 'being in hell' thing.
Yes, he was having a nightmare. But it was such a lovely nightmare to have.
No, bad Tezuka! Don't think like that! It was a terrible nightmare! Not even that, it had absolutely no effect on him, none what so ever. The fact that Echizen was pressing against him in a narrow space, lips slightly parted, the boy's breath tickling his neck, had no effect on him.
"Buchou." Echizen said.
"Hnn." Tezuka answered, because he did not trust his voice. And despite all his reasoning's, it could be highly possible, that this wasn't a nightmare, that he was, in fact, trapped in a small cupboard in the art classroom, because Fuji felt playful.
"Any idea on how to get out of here?"
"I'll take that as a no, then, Buchou."
"Hmm." Echizen glanced at him, eyes half closed. Tezuka had to suppress a groan. He really needed to move away, soon, if he did not wish Echizen to find out just how happy he was to be this near to the boy again since they started going to school in separate buildings, because he seriously doubted Echizen would buy the whole 'I have a banana in my pocket' excuse.
"I really don't wanna be here when the next class starts." Echizen said.
"Cause I really don't think it will do any good to neither of our reputations to be caught in the famous making out closet by the teacher and a whole class. Which I think, just happens to be my class." Echizen sighed, and Tezuka heard himself let out a small sound of desperation. "You alright, Buchou? Are you afraid of closed spaces?"
"No!" Tezuka realized he had squealed the answer, and cleared his throat. "Grmh, no, I'm fine Echizen."
"You sure, cause you seem tense."
"I'm fine." Great, his voice was squeaking again. He had to get out, now!
"Look Buchou, I know you think I shouldn't have come back."Echizen sounded depressed. "And you're probably disappointed in me right now, or hate me."
He could never hate Echizen! Why would the boy even think that?
"You haven't even once looked at me since I decided to come back, and that's almost two months ago. But I just didn't fit in at America anymore, and I…"
Maybe that might have caused Echizen to think that he hated the kid. It was true, he had been avoiding Echizen at every coast, but not for the reason Echizen thought.
It helped, that they were in separate schools, he in high school, and Echizen at junior high. That wasn't going to be an option next year, when Echizen would graduate. It was already hard, not to bump in to Echizen, when Fuji and Kikumaru insisted on arranging get-togethers for the former regulars almost every weekend, and sometimes during the week. And Oishi always seemed to manage to convince him to join them, and if that didn't work, they sent Inui. Tezuka always caved, in the end, if not for Oishi's pleading, than because he simply wanted to shut Inui up. Too bad Inui never called him; he could've just hung up. But the data man, it seemed, had learned his lesson when it came to him, Tezuka and phones.
"And I am really sorry."
"What do you mean, Echizen?"
"Well, this might be my fault." Echizen shifted, his leg brushed against Tezuka's groin, and Tezuka tried to back away, only to bump against the shelves. He only gained about a centimetre of space. Still, it was better than nothing.
"How could it be your fault that Fuji decided to shove us in to the supply cabinet?" It probably was just a spur of the moment thing from Fuji, anyway. Seigaku's junior high, and high school did share some class rooms because of the lack of space, and the art class room happened to be one of them. The fact that Tezuka's class was almost instantly followed by Echizen's class, just seemed to show that the universe loved Fuji, and had a sense of humour just as twisted as Fuji's.
"I might've said something to Fuji-sempai, that I thought you were avoiding me, or something, and he probably…"
"Just thought he was helping you by shoving us in a small space where we would have nothing else to do but talk." Tezuka finished for the kid.
If Fuji had known how Tezuka felt about Echizen, this might have all been avoided. No, that didn't sound right. Fuji would have done it anyway. Probably much more eagerly, too.
"I do not hate you, Echizen, or resent you for the choices you have made." He finally said. "And despite what you might think, I haven't been avoiding you." Well, if he wasn't in hell, he was going there for lying, if he believed the Christian that lived next door to them.
"Really Buchou!" Echizen beamed, and Tezuka felt light headed. He might have even smiled goofily, if the door hadn't opened.
"Tezuka, Echizen, I'm sorry I couldn't come earlier, but Fuji just told me what he did. Are you alright?" Oishi asked.
"We are fine, thank you Oishi." Tezuka told him, more grateful then ever before that he had a friend like Oishi.
"Tezuka-sempai, Oishi-sempai! What are you doing here?" Tomoka asked from the doorway. Other students, Echizen's classmates were starting to arrive in the classroom.
"Just came by to see Echizen." Oishi told her. "We should be going now, right Tezuka?"
"Aah." Tezuka nodded. He bent down to pick his bag that was on the floor, in front of the closet, and placed it strategically in front of him. Oishi glanced at his face, questioningly. Even though Tezuka's face remained stoic, Oishi seemed to guess the reason for the bag's position, and suppressed a smile. Somehow, the look on Oishi's face was a mixture of amusement, horror and worry. How it was possible to display such a variation of emotions at once was a mystery to Tezuka.
"Oishi, please stop." Tezuka pleaded.
"Sorry Tezuka, but…" Oishi tried, but couldn't suppress his laughter any longer. As soon as they were out of the building, Oishi doubled over, leaned on the wall for support, and laughed so hard that his eyes watered. "I just… he hee… couldn't believe it when Fuji told me he'd… Ha ha haa!"
"Yes, I'm sure I would find it just as amusing if I were you."
"Okay, done now." Oishi informed him, took one look at his bag that was still placed in front of his crotch and started giggling again. "I don't even want to think what Fuji would've done if he'd known you have a crush on Echizen."
"Probably the same thing," Tezuka stated. "Only he would have given me some form of lubrication, I think."
"You don't need to sound so hopeful Tezuka." Oishi frowned.
"I don't! Oishi, will you take this seriously! I almost… " Tezuka blushed. It was maddening, how much Echizen affected him, even when he wasn't around. Now he was blushing! Tezuka was sure he hadn't blushed ever before in his whole life, not before Echizen showed up in his life again.
"It will pass in time, Tezuka." Oishi comforted him. "It's just a teenage crush. You'll grow out of it, eventually."
"Yes well, I'm more worried about now, Oishi."
"Just make sure to keep your distance from him."
It must be nice to be Oishi. He didn't have to suffer being Fuji's favourite object of torture. "It's not that easy. Echizen still thinks of me as a… I really don't know what, but he's noticed that I avoid him, and it has troubled him. He talked about it with Fuji, and Fuji being Fuji decided to help and lock us up in the supply closet."
"Well, I don't know how much of a comfort this will be, but Fuji wasn't planning on humiliating you. He told me just in time to get you out before anyone else might have found you." Oishi said. "School will be over soon, but we still have a couple of classes left. You sure you're going to be alright, with… Grmh… You know."
"It's fine. I just have to remember the time I saw my grandmother bathing."
"That's gross, Tezuka."
"Well, that's the whole point, isn't it, Oishi?"
"Did you at least talk to Echizen?" Fuji asked him.
"Yes." Tezuka was not happy at all that Fuji was in the same class as him, and that the tensai had chosen to sit next to him at every single class.
"I'm glad. It really has been bothering him, you know." Why was Fuji trying to have a conversation with him, when they were in math class? Didn't he realize that some people actually needed to concentrate in class in order to learn something? Not everyone had been born a genius. "Every time we try to have fun, and your name shows up, he gets depressed. I really don't like it when something is bothering those I care about."
"We worked it out." Tezuka said, hoping that would satisfy Fuji, and make him shut up, and focus on the teacher.
"Good, maybe now he won't be distracted when we go to the amusement park later."
"You are going to the amusement park?" Tezuka asked, despite his earlier resolve to concentrate on the class, and filter Fuji out.
"Yes, I thought we could do something special to mark the day. Echizen of course just wanted to play tennis."
"Mark the day?"
"Well, we've been going out for a month today."
Tezuka grunted, and hoped Fuji didn't see the shock in his face. He focused his eyes on the teacher, but didn't hear anything.
He should be happy. Happy that Fuji and Echizen were dating and were happy. He shouldn't feel miserable, or plan ways to separate the two. And it was highly unlikely that Echizen would dump Fuji for free Ponta. Or that he could somehow convince Inui to make a juice that would cause cat allergy and then trick Fuji to drink it.
"Ah, Tezuka-kun. How are you?" Their neighbour greeted him, as he was about to turn to their drive way.
"Fine Matsuda-san. And how are you?" He asked the man, who was carrying a plate of cookies.
"Just going to the congregations bake sale. I made some cookies, would you like to taste them? I'm not sure if the young people will like them, since they're not very sweet." The man smiled broadly, so that the lines in the corner of his eyes deepened.
Tezuka took a cookie from the plate. "So, how are they?" Matsuda-san asked him.
"Delicious," Tezuka answered, even though he hardly tasted anything. His mind was too occupied with thoughts of Fuji and Echizen. He should remember that Fuji was his friend and Echizen was just… Something much more.
"You are coming with us, right Tezuka?" Fuji asked.
"Sorry, wasn't listening." Tezuka, who had been busy poking at his lunch, said. He was sitting next to Fuji, Oishi and Kikumaru sat across from them, reading some book together.
"I was just saying that I want you to come with me and Echizen tonight, when we are going with Yuuta to play some tennis. I thought it might be interesting to see how well Echizen and I could do as a doubles team. You could be Yuuta's partner."
"I don't know, Fuji. I have some catching up to do with my math." The last thing he wanted to see was Fuji and Echizen acting as a couple.
"Come on, Tezuka. It'll be fun, I promise. And I'll help out if you have problems with math."
Tezuka glanced at Oishi for help but it seemed that the book was really good, since his friend didn't even glance up. If he refused now, Fuji would want to know why. The math wasn't going to work as an excuse, not anymore, since Fuji had offered his help. "Fine, I'll come." He finally conceded.
He met them all at the park, an hour or so, after school. Fuji had his cheery smile plastered over his face, his brother didn't seem all that pleased to be there, and Tezuka couldn't tell what Echizen was thinking, since he had pulled his cap down so it shadowed his face.
"So, everyone ready?" Fuji asked, and sneaked an arm around Echizen, who just stood there, passively, allowing the arm to stay in place, not bothered at all. Yuuta, on the other hand, was bothered.
"Aniki, would you please not do that? There are people around here."
"What? I'm not doing anything inappropriate." Fuji said, while his hand shifted lower. "Yet," he said right before he pinched Echizen's butt.
Echizen yelped and swatted Fuji. "Stop it, Fuji-sempai." But he was smiling, and didn't seem to mind all that much.
"Aniki! Echizen, you're only encouraging him!" Yuuta groaned.
"Fine, fine, I'll behave for you, Yuuta. But I can't make promises for Echizen-kun." Fuji lifted both his hands up, palms facing Yuuta.
"Echizen?" Yuuta asked pleadingly.
"I promise I won't pinch Fuji-sempai's butt." Echizen smirked.
The statement left him a lot of other things to do, and Yuuta seemed to know it, judging by his groan. Fuji just grinned proudly. Tezuka wished he was somewhere else.
"Let's just go already." Yuuta sighed and started walking away from the park.
None of them noticed the boy on the skateboard, and the boy didn't notice them. The boy crashed in to Yuuta, knocking him to the ground, while the boy himself slammed into a nearby car. The skateboard almost smacked Echizen in the head, but Tezuka managed to pull him out of the way.
"Yuuta!" Fuji yelled and ran to his brother, who was clutching his knee.
Tezuka knew he needed to let go of Echizen, go see how Yuuta was, or the other boy, but he couldn't make himself move. His hand was around Echizen's shoulders, and the boy's face was buried in his neck. He was sure Echizen could hear his heart, the sound of its beat was thundering in Tezuka's ears. Echizen's breath on his neck sent shivers through his body, Echizen's hands pressed against his chest felt as they were burning through his coat and shirt. It was almost as if there wasn't any fabric between his skin and Echizen's palms.
Echizen's cap had been thrown away, his hair tickled Tezuka's face. He almost lost it, almost buried his head in Echizen's hair and pulled the boy even closer to him. His hand moved slowly, releasing Echizen, sliding on the boy's shoulders, his fingers brushing the boy's neck. Echizen lifted his gaze just then, eyes glinting gold as the sunlight hit them, lips parted, tinge of red colouring his cheeks.
It would have been so easy to forget everything else, curl his fingers around Echizen's neck, bend down and kiss the lips that he'd been dreaming for so long, even before they parted ways, when it was even more wrong for him to feel what he felt now. Echizen had been only twelve, and he had been his captain. Echizen was only two years older now, but it seemed to be a big difference. But now, Echizen was with Fuji.
The thought of Fuji brought Tezuka back to reality, and he stepped hurriedly back, away from Echizen, away from temptation.
He glanced at the scene. Only a few seconds had passed, when it had seemed like more to Tezuka. Fuji was just bending over Yuuta, and the kid with the skateboard was getting up, bewildered and wide eyed.
Echizen just picked up his cap and walked over to Fuji and his brother. It seemed he hadn't noticed anything strange with Tezuka's behaviour. Which was a good thing.
"I'm so sorry!" The boy who had caused the accident rushed over to Yuuta. "Are you alright? I'm sorry!"
The Fuji's and Echizen ignored him, focusing their attention on Yuuta's knee. His sand coloured pants were red from blood and his cheek had been scraped bloody from the ground. "There's a piece of glass on the ground that probably cut your knee when you fell," Echizen pointed out. "You should go to the hospital."
"I'll call a cab! I'll pay for it!" the skateboarder said and pulled out his cell phone. "I'll pay the hospital bill, I mean my dad will. I don't know! I'll take care of it! I'm so sorry!" The kid was still panicking when he talked to the phone, so Tezuka took the phone from him, and said where to send the cab.
When the cab came, the boy had calmed down, but was still worried and apologetic.
"There isn't much room in the cab." Fuji said. "I'll take Yuuta to the hospital."
"I'm coming too, it's all my fault!" The skateboarder declared.
"Okay, call me when you get back from the hospital," Echizen told Fuji. "I'll see you tomorrow."
"Here's your skateboard." Tezuka gave the kid his skateboard back. He clutched it, like it was his lifeline.
"I'll see you too tomorrow, Tezuka."
The cab drove of, and Tezuka found himself alone with Echizen. It was almost as he had planned it. That is, if he was an all knowing all powerful being with a sadistic streak. That sounded more like Fuji than him. When the hell had he started to associate Fuji with deities?
"Probably the same time you started listening to your Christ worshipping neighbour."
"Probably," Tezuka said.
"What Buchou?" Echizen asked.
Tezuka looked at him, realizing Echizen had not spoken. How could he have? The kid couldn't read minds, right? Well who the hell had spoken?
"A figment of your imagination, of course, one that you have created because of your emotional crisis. And don't worry; you're not crazy, yet anyway. But me showing up, clearly indicates that a nervous breakdown is on the horizon, and not very far, either." The voice chuckled.
Tezuka lifted his gaze to the chuckle and saw Atobe, wearing a pink suit. He choked on air. If that was a figment of his imagination, then why the hell did it look and sound like Atobe?
"Apparently you associate me with everything that has to do with pleasure. I am flattered that you would think that of me, Tezuka," the apparition purred. "You have been suppressing your own desires for a very long time now, haven't you? It really isn't healthy, Tezuka."
Tezuka closed his eyes and rubbed his temple. He felt a warm touch on his arm and opened his eyes to look at Echizen. "You alright, Buchou?"
"Look at that. So sweet, how concerned he is for you. To bad for you, that he'd feel the same no matter who it was. You would have liked if it was you pinching his butt earlier, wouldn't you? Or you he was thinking of when he smirks with that glint in his eyes. You know what I mean, don't you Tezuka? Of course you do. I'm in your mind, remember."
Tezuka cleared his throat. "I'm fine Echizen. Just… hungry, I guess."
"Let's go eat then. It could take a while before they get out of the hospital." Echizen suggested.
"Alright," Tezuka answered. "You have a place in mind?"
"They sell good burgers around the corner."
"Fine." Echizen took the lead, and Tezuka walked a little behind him.
"Nice thinking. You can look at his butt better this way. Isn't it just delicious the way he swings his hips?"
It really was a nice view… What? No! He couldn't think that! And he didn't remember Atobe being this lecherous, either.
"He probably isn't." The apparition shrugged. "But I'm not him, remember? I'm a figment of your imagination. And believe me, you can be very perverted. I'm proof of that."
There really was no arguing with that.
They arrived at the burger joint, and Echizen ordered meals for them both. After they'd paid for them, they took a booth by the window. He wasn't sure why, but Tezuka felt a little uncomfortable when Atobe sat next to Echizen.
"It's because you'd like to be sitting here." Fine, that might be true. Still, he didn't like it, and wanted Atobe to move. The apparition just smirked, and leaned comfortably back. "Don't think I will." He watched silently as Atobe leaned to blow on Echizen's ear, while looking at him. Echizen just unwrapped his burger and took a bite from it. "He eats with such vigour. I wonder if he kisses just as hungrily."
Tezuka just wanted Atobe to shut the fuck up. "Your wish is my command." Tezuka watched in silent horror as Atobe leaned over to Echizen again, cupped his chin and licked the boy's cheek, from jaw to the corner of his eye. Atobe licked his lips, as if he'd tasted something sweet, and kissed the boy's throat next, and started nipping at it with his teeth. The hand that had cupped the boy's chin moved slowly downwards, caressing the T-shirt covered chest. When the hand disappeared under the table, Echizen dropped his burger.
"Aren't you eating, Buchou?" Echizen asked, and took some fries and stuffed them in his mouth.
Atobe kept on smirking at him, head now resting on Echizen's shoulder, the other hand still on the boy's crotch, and the other on Echizen's other shoulder, drawing lazy patterns on the neck.
"I have to… Bathroom!" Tezuka rushed through the restaurant, towards the men's room. He locked the door behind him, and leaned on it. He nearly had a heart attack when Atobe stepped through the door.
"A figment of your imagination, remember?" Atobe quirked an eyebrow, and stepped over to the mirror, to flip his hair. "You think I should go blonde? Light brown is starting to go out of fashion, I hear, and I think I'd look great as a blonde."
"Don't do that again!" Tezuka growled.
"Do what?" Atobe smirked. "Walk through walls, or arrange a show?"
"You know! And neither!"
"It would do you well to remember that I am not real, and you do not need to voice out your thoughts for me to understand them. If you're not careful, people might think you're insane." Atobe laughed. "Oh hell! Who are we kidding? You're a complete nutter! I mean, look at me! No sane person creates a figure just to express their lust!"
A/N: I know very little about psychology and as stated above did no research. Comments, critique?