A/N: This is my first fic in ... please help me and review...? (Criticism appreciated!) This is chapter 1/5.


The Final Countdown

Day 5, Declarations.

His doorbell rang.

Abandoning his reading, Tezuka unwillingly walked to the door. Among his acquaintances, he was known as an anti-socialist; it's not that he hated others, he just preferred being alone. Therefore, having an uninvited guest so late at night was quite a shock for him. He couldn't think of anyone who would visit him past 10pm during summer vacation…

As he opened the door, he was astonished to find a small boy standing there casually, looking up at him and smiling as if there was nothing more natural than him just being there. But as bewildered as he was, Tezuka never let his guard down and disallowed himself to show any sign of emotion –the latter meant weakness in his personal dictionary. He simply stared back without the slightest glimpse of surprise within the depths of his hazel orbs and when he finally found his voice, "Fuji" was what he had called out, simply, matter-of-factly.

"It's been quite a while, buchou" the smiling boy teased. Really, he hadn't changed at all, and if Tezuka wasn't more careful, he'd surprise himself by smiling just the slightest at the memories it brought back. He recalled his time spent at Seishun Gakuen and decided Fuji had almost never called him 'buchou' when he became the tennis club's captain in their third and last year together. Back then, they were the captain and the prodigy, the two best players in the club, and even rivals.

"Can I come in?" Fuji's soft tone gently pulled Tezuka back to reality. Even after all these years, the bespectacled boy could still remember how this same voice used to soothe him during his most stressful moments. He nodded and stepped aside for his old friend to enter his small apartment. Weird, Fuji had forever been by his side yet he had never been a friend to Tezuka… and probably never will be. No, for Tezuka, Fuji wasn't, was not and never will be a mere friend. He was so much more.

Stealing a glance towards his uninvited guest, Tezuka realized there will never be a perfect way to describe his relationship with Fuji. Their feelings for each other were beyond words and therefore shall never be voiced. He remembered how often he used to think about the blue eyed boy, and just ended up thinking he was someone 'special.'

He couldn't help but notice how fragile and breakable Fuji seemed. He might have become even thinner than before, most probably due to the lack of workout. Even so, the once-upon-genius don't seem to have changed at all –not that Tezuka minded, he liked Fuji just the way he was.

"…Tezuka?" once again, Fuji's gently voice guided him back to the present.

He decided he must have been staring for too long, seeing an uneasy smile spread across Fuji's tired face. "Aah, it's nothing. What brings you here?"

Fuji silenced a sigh. He knew Tezuka was going to ask him the inevitable question he didn't want to answer. His cheerful smile turned rather sad, adding a bitter taste to its rosy color. He decided he'd get right to the point. (He learned by past experience that turning around the subject was futile with Tezuka, as the latter would just get more confused.)

He looked down, finding the floor quite admirable. "I know it must be weird for me to suddenly reappear in your life after losing contact with you for six years…" he paused, inhaled deeply and stared into Tezuka's eyes before continuing, "…but for some reason or another, I have five more days to live, counting today, and I decided I'd spend them with you."

The words haven't sunk in just yet, and all Tezuka could bring himself to ask was "Why me?"

If Fuji had been disappointed or even hurt, he hadn't let it show. "I guess it is because you are special to me."

Strange, Tezuka had thought the exact same thing half a minute ago.

"What do I have to do?" he asked. The devastating news has yet to be analyzed by his currently un-functioning brain.

Fuji smiled, relieved. "Nothing much" he quickly said. "Just spend the next days with me." He carefully omitted the 'before I never see you again' part. He mentally slapped himself for thinking such immoral things and adding fire to his already desperate mind. He had expected Tezuka to catch on if he admitted his fate bluntly… but on second thought, it might be better if the boy just never realizes; it would be less painful for both of them. Fuji honestly hated his weak side, which constantly seeks for his ex-captain. And now that the taller man knew, it definitely would make him suffer once Fuji…leaves.

"Your wish is my command."

Maybe Tezuka agreed out of pity, or even was he just flattered Fuji came running to him. Whatever it was that made him accept, he didn't really care; he was really just happy to be able to spend time with one of his old…friend and make his last moments memorable ones.

He has yet to realize the seriousness of the situation.


--To Be Continued--