Disclaimer: Not mine.
A/N: For those who do not wish to read a happy ending that will probably kill the whole angst mood, please do not read any further.
~The Final Countdown Sequel, Eternity~
From atop my balcony, I winced as I looked past the brightness of the sun to that small, empty spot in the sky. It's been a year now and that one spot remained starless. Fuji-less. Ever since that night I sincerely cried and regretted, I decided it was time to move on. I vowed not to shed a single tear again, it would save both of us the pain and the embarrassment. That promise Fuji broke didn't bother me as much as it should have, considering the extent of my loss within those five short days. Without being physically there, Fuji completed me. There remained a warm presence next to me on my bed, as if Fuji had never left my covers. That genuine and pleasant smile would greet me every single morning before I grabbed my spectacles and brought myself back to reality. A faint whisper of my name encouraged me every time I felt like breaking down.
"I'm off Syuusuke."
If I had a roommate, they would probably think of me as delusional. To everyone whom I've told our story to, the one person who fussed over me the most was Oishi. To him it was clear that Fuji had betrayed me, taking advantage of my time and leaving with everything I had, but to me, those times were precious considering all we had shared.
Even now, I'm not sure if Fuji truly loved me. The only thing I knew was that I fell madly in love with him.
Despite what Oishi thought, I was convinced there was a reason, a logical or probably an illogical explanation for Fuji's actions. Oishi conveyed to me that it was probably my strong, undeniable feelings for the prodigy influencing my thoughts. After all, Oishi had been through the same routine with Kikumaru, but for them, they had a happy ending.
'Call me stubborn,' I thought otherwise.
Ever since Fuji left, I felt as lively as ever. I haven't fallen back into my monotonous life as I thought I would. I wanted to fill in for Fuji's part of the promise by not only moving on, but enjoying life as well. Besides, Fuji never left my side.
Good morning, Tezuka.
I'd wake up to the sight of Fuji's smile, staring longingly at the photo of Fuji on my nightstand before I'd greet that empty spot in the sky. After changing and showering, I'd hear a faint 'Good morning, Tezuka' as I traveled to the kitchen to cook breakfast.
I was happy.
I tried to ignore my feared thoughts that everything would eventually come to an end. So even if I was delusional, at least I was content, content with always being surrounded by Fuji.
This morning was no exception. I was probably longing for today. Not to remember the pain from last year when Fuji died while wrapped in my arms, but to live once again our precious moments together. It was strange, there was no proper funeral held in memory of that tragic night. I never bothered to think too much of it then. Fuji was close to me and that's all that mattered, funeral or not.
And I was convinced life couldn't be better.
As I opened my apartment door, a gush of wind greeted me, toying with my hair and whispering in my ear a soft melody. It was probably one of my illusions again, but it awfully sounded like 'I love you… I love you…', those three meaningful words Fuji had left unsaid. It pushed me stronger than ever before towards the park where we first met. I looked up to the trees. Despite the early spring chill some of the sakura blossoms have started to show, adding a touch of beauty to celebrate our anniversary, not that it could ever rival the ocean-deep cerulean eyes.
"Alright, alright, I'll hurry up."
This was routine too. Everyday, before driving myself to work, my feet would drag me to the tennis courts, to another memory of Fuji. Everyday, I would stand there, alone, or not quite.
A gentle breeze would playfully blow swirls around me, and so faintly whisper 'I love you' that no one else but I could hear. I noticed after some time how the finest branches on top of the trees wouldn't budge a single millimeter, while I'm filled with the warmth of the wind.
I was blessed.
Today somehow felt different. It wasn't the usual nonchalant warm air that greeted me, rather, a shuddering, cold and urgent one. I didn't pay much attention to it, but as I approached the park, something stopped me.
There stood the most beautiful youth I've ever seen. The usual wind harassing me, was now gently tugging his sandy hair away from his face, revealing a part of his slim, porcelain neck. His head was angled upward, and with those closed eyes. He was admiring the early cherry blossom blooms with an eternal smile stretched across his face. His even breath came out in small, regular puffs as it made contact with the chilly air.
It painfully reminded me of one winter I spent with Fuji, many years ago, as I was gaping at him.
My presence must have been very imposing as it usually was, because he now turned to look at me. His closed eyelids snapped open, revealing two fragile blue orbs. His lips parted, but nothing, except a puff of air came out.
He reminded me so much of Syuusuke.
After a minute of our intense staring contest, he gained enough consciousness to move his feet towards me, slowly and hesitantly. It felt like forever before he finally stood right in front of me. Then, it happened.
"Te…Tezuka…" he choked out in bewilderment.
How did he know my name?
"Tezuka!" he shouted this time with recognition.
I still stared. Who was he?
His arms found their way around my waist and pulled me in a tight embrace. "I… I missed you so much…" he whispered against my chest, his voice shaking uncontrollably.
I frowned. "Who are you?"
His arms froze. I must have been too blunt, because his gorgeous blue eyes were now liquid with tears.
"Did you already forget me?" There was sarcasm in his voice and a strained smile across his face. "It's only been a year, Tezuka. You can't forget that fast!" he sounded like he was trying to convince himself rather than myself.
"I'm sorry, but if you are talking about Fuji Syuusuke, I'm afraid he already passed away." At least, I was positive on the fact.
He forced a chuckle and asked with that arrogant yet soft voice, "Did you go to his funeral?"
"I didn't," I admitted.
"Do you know why?" he asked again, his eyes closed and his mischievous grin back.
I shrugged. "I never knew when it was held." And I didn't care, because he was always with me.
"Wrong, that would be because it was never held in the first place. Fuji Syuusuke never died." He ginned crookedly at my widening eyes. "In fact, he is standing right in front of you."
I kept silent. Now this was most definitely not part of my daily routine. If I hadn't been delusional before, now I certainly was.
"Fuji passed away," I said again, "he in fact died in my arms and I regret it deeply."
"Wrong again, buchou," he corrected, "he passed out in your arms and was brought to the hospital by his sister. He stayed in a coma for two months due to low blood pressure before awakening and recovering."
I still wasn't convinced. What was this guy trying to do? My life was perfect, flawless, and cheerful until today. How could he just appear out of the blue and claim that he was Fuji Syuusuke? I wasn't going to let him trouble my day.
"Fuji's heart was dying out," I stated.
"Until it found someone else for whom it would beat," he counter-attacked.
"That's illogical," I surprised myself, speaking like Inui.
The man who claimed he was Fuji sighed in exasperation. "You are the one who is being illogical, Tezuka. I'm right here, in front of you! I am not glowing nor have wings on my back. I look perfectly human."
"How can you prove that you won't be gone the second I turned away?" I was going to become hysterical if this argument continued.
Before I could think of anything else, his lips were on mine. A shock ran down my spine as my body remembered. I reacted automatically. I was kissing him back with passion and desire. I closed my eyes, letting my body feel the warmth of his pliant lips, tasting the familiar sweetness of his tongue, playfully teasing him while I desperately held him close to me.
I heard girls giggling nearby, ogling at the two of us for displaying such intimate moment publicly or maybe at just me because I looked rather foolish, kissing an illusion (or no one, if you prefer) in the park. A part of me prayed it was the former since it would save me the embarrassment as another, more stubborn side of me fought to maintain the thought of Fuji being dead. Whether that was a good thing or a bad one, I'd debate it later on. Right now, I was focused on those hot lips pressed against mine.
When he pulled away and gasped for air, I took the chance to inhale the lemon fragrance of his honey locks. He was really like Fuji in so many ways.
"Are you convinced now?" he asked, hopeful.
I stared at him for a while, noticing how his flushed face looked so much like Fuji's.
"I'm not sure," I admitted, "my brain is known to process shock very slowly."
"I've noticed that a year ago," he chuckled before adding, "well, it doesn't matter, really. Now that I have all eternity before me, I've decided I'd spend it with you." A sincere and genuine smile spread across his face. How I've missed seeing it.
"Your wish is my command," I played along, feeling the pleasant déjà-vu moment.
He took my large hand in his own, squeezing it tightly. They still fitted perfectly together, to my contentment.
"Look Tezuka, it's snowing."
I tilted my head up to see a magnificent sight of white and pink. Cold snowflakes mixed with warm cherry blossom petals swirled and danced together before landing on the clay of the tennis court. A wind blew past us softly. This time, it wasn't the one whispering 'I love you' in my ears.
I was wrong. My life could be better.
And here, we meet again.
A/N: Okay, so Fuji revived. At least it wasn't 'magical'. XD;;
To all those who have read this far and supported me with wonderful/critical comments, I thank you all very very much. This is the end of The Final Countdown. I really hope you enjoyed it! ^-^ Again, criticism and reviews are welcome and encouraged for this final chapter!