A/N: Thanks to my beta for righting my wrongs. The song is Sarah McLachlan's I Will Remember You.
Disclaimer: PoT isn't mine. Does it seem like I receive any benefit from writing this fic?
I Will Remember You
I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memory
The airport was hectic as it always was. Murmurs, cries, and laughter filled the air, a symphony for the return and departure of loved ones. Everyone seemed to be absorbed in the activities, overwhelmed by the intense emotions, unknowingly joined in the formless dance. One of the few not taking part in the emotion was Tezuka Kunimitsu. He checked his wristwatch with a tiny frown, noting that he still had twenty minutes before he had to board the plane and return to his paperwork once again.
It should've been his celebrated return to Japan after nearly three years of working in Europe, but no amount of time could change his practicality. After all, he didn't go to Japan for a well-deserved vacation; he went for a business trip. The company he was working for was spreading its business in Japan and he was required to supervise it. He took the project unflinchingly, aware of his duties, and pushed back his hesitance to go.
Tezuka's eyes immediately flew from his papers to find the source of the voice and to whom it was directed to. His heart began to beat faster in anticipation but to his disappointment –and a bit of relief-, he didn't find the face he wanted to see. Tezuka's frown deepened slightly, dismayed by his own reaction. He couldn't deny the reason behind the reflex-like reaction. He couldn't run away from it no matter how far he went.
It was one of the few regrets he could think of having in his life; running away and letting fear overpower him. As years went by, he witnessed his friends and acquaintances, one by one, find happiness in their own chosen paths. It was when he looked at the cold empty space beside him or stared at the ceiling of his cold bedroom in his silent house that he realized he might've opted for the wrong choice.
But the damage was done. Regrets would bring him nothing but pain. He learned to stop glancing back to the past that could not be changed. The present was all that he had, no matter how lonely, cold, and pathetic it might be.
Tezuka pushed his glasses higher up his nose and returned to his paperwork.
Remember the good times that we had
I let them slip away from us when things got bad
How clearly I first saw you smilin' in the sun
Wanna feel your warmth upon me, I wanna be the one
Japan overwhelmed him with memory. It chased him when he tried to run away, embraced him when he tried to escape. The past visited him, danced before his mental eyes, teasing him with what he could not alter.
But many things had changed. The café they went to on their first outing was gone. The street where they first held hands had transformed. The park where they first shared a kiss had been torn down, but the school where they began and ended still stood firm.
It would be a lie to say that Tezuka never considered the 'what if's. What would happen if he had never said the final goodbye? What would happen if he could gather the courage to pursue the one thing that made him happy? What would happen if he had thrown all cautions to the wind and followed his heart? Would he be happier? Would he be here with him?
Tezuka had been living as a zombie. His mind was always focused on paperwork. He spent time drowning himself in his obligations. Faces pass, time flew, places changed. Next thing Tezuka knew, he was left behind; lost and alone in the vast void of the world he had chosen as his own.
"Tezuka-san, let me introduce you to our new partner in this project." Said the nameless man who was to be his subordinate in this project. The man gestured to one side of the room with a proud, though slightly nervous smile Tezuka ignored. "Fuji Syuusuke is one of the best in this field in Japan."
Tezuka froze upon hearing the name –a reaction he could not resist. Instantly, he recognized the figure bathed in the sunlight, the very same figure that had haunted his dream for so many years; the figure he couldn't chase away from his memory. Fuji was everything he remembered him to be; a smiling beauty, a glowing figure, and a beckoning entity. And Tezuka was his twelve years old self once again; a captivated boy, an entranced child, finding what he never thought he should seek.
Every conflicting feeling he had experienced in his teenage years when he first saw Fuji returned. The longing, the craving, the need that never ceased crashed down on him. He watched, completely captivated, as Fuji smiled and approached him.
I'm so tired but I can't sleep
Standin' of the edge of something much too deep
Funny how we feel so much but we cannot say a word
We are screaming inside, but we can't be heard
Tezuka didn't know how it got to this. First, they were merely talking about business, and then somehow the topic slipped to the past. The next thing Tezuka knew, they were entangled on Tezuka's bed in Tezuka's hotel room, sharing pleasure in ways that always felt natural to them. Tezuka hadn't expected this, but perhaps deep down inside had longed for it and somehow, as he always did, Fuji recognized the need and submitted to his wish.
Tezuka blinked, staring blankly at the ceiling. He was sore, his body ached, his skin raw, he had never been so alive since that final night so many years ago.
It felt so perfectly right, laying there within Fuji's embrace, basking in his warmth. He felt content, happy, relaxed, safe, and complete. He had found where he belonged; in a place he shouldn't belong. But the intense emotion began to frighten him. He had thought that time would dampen his feelings, would help him gain control better, but he was wrong. It was stronger than ever as if the passing years had amplified it. Fuji's hold on him was loose, but Tezuka felt suffocated.
Fuji lifted his head, peering through the veil of darkness to see Tezuka. Their eyes met and words and emotions that never needed to be said between them were conveyed and understood. Fuji's eyes were bright and warm as always. They spoke of unwavering affection, passion, and understanding. Fuji never question Tezuka's actions and decisions. Even when he was obviously wrong and hurt Fuji in the process, Fuji never questioned him. He never had in the past. He didn't either this time.
Tezuka leaned down slightly to invite a kiss. Something more than lust grew between them as they kissed. Silently they shared doubts, happiness, and fear in a language only they spoke. They knew what could be, they knew what they wanted, and they knew what they didn't want to risk.
With a tiny sigh, Fuji rolled on top of Tezuka for the second time that night.
I'm so afraid to love you but more afraid to loose
Clinging to a past that doesn't let me choose
One there was a darkness, deep and endless night
You gave me everything you had, oh you gave me light
It was an unspoken agreement between them; the look they shared across the table, the brush of hands on the corridors, and the kisses in the elevator. No words were needed, save for the few gasped ones when they became one in the privacy of Tezuka's hotel room. Their silence conveyed more than a thousand words could –which was very well in their secret relationship.
This morning, just like every morning in the past few weeks, Fuji left with a smile and a soft kiss. But unlike the previous mornings, this might very well be the last time.
Tezuka wasn't foolish enough to think that this would last. He knew eventually their secret meetings would come to an end. They would once again return to the lives they had taken as their own. Tezuka would once again leave. He would once again be alone. The painful clenching of heart that came with the thought was un-ignorable.
His mother had called today, demanding him to visit his parents before he left for another country. She had asked if he had met any of his new friends. He didn't tell her about Fuji.
Tezuka doubted his mother had the slightest suspicion about his relationship with Fuji, for they had always been careful, tip toeing around Tezuka's family. His father had little knowledge in his personal life, content with only observing from afar the progress of his career. His late grandfather, watchful as he might have been, had been too trustful of his grandson. No one suspected they had been more than companions, that their feelings were deeper than friends' could ever feel. They were always careful, even until the end of their school year when Tezuka said his stoic good bye for the last time to Fuji's patiently smiling face.
His grandfather had long since passed away. His last words were a wish for him to find happiness in his own way. His father, the kind man he was, had always silently encouraged him to do what felt right for him. His mother explicitly asked him to be happy, as she knew he had almost never been.
Then why did he still insist on taking on that lonely path? Why was he still spending nights in solitude? Why was he still unhappy? Why did he choose to be unhappy?
To leave Fuji was his decision, he knew. While his family had been a part of his reason, they ultimately only wanted him to be happy. He had believed that it was his responsibility to leave Fuji. He had believed that it was better for him and Fuji to part. It was his choice to take this path. It was his choice to lead this solitary life. It was his choice to kill his soul. He had denied it before, blaming it on everyone else but he knew the truth. He had brought everything upon himself.
Tezuka glanced at the business card lying inconspicuously on his desk. Fuji had given him the card on their first meeting weeks ago as a matter of formality, and it had since been placed near his phone, inviting him to dial the number he had come to memorize. But it wasn't quite an invitation. It was a choice, something Fuji always gave him from the first second they met. It was the very same question he gave many years ago. Should they take the risk to seek happiness together or should they part ways to suffer painful longing?
Tezuka had chosen to leave before and here he was. While his life seemed like the perfect life many dreamt of, it was meaningless. It was the same dull routine everyday for the past eternity. He had little expectation in life and even less passion for it. Unlike when he was with Fuji.
Fuji offered him what he always wanted and perhaps always had; choices. He would give him a gentle smile and waited patiently for Tezuka to make a decision, because he had made his decision. He had decided to give Tezuka the freedom to leave whenever he wished and return whenever he wanted. He understood well the consequences of his choices and was ready for them.
Tezuka envied that. Fuji gave his everything to the choice he had taken; he took the pain and cherished the pleasure. Never once did Tezuka ever sense a hint of regret in Fuji. He saw hope, though, lingering in the furthest corner of his soul and despite everything, Tezuka couldn't deny his guilt for causing such feelings to Fuji. He had always calmed him when he was restless, reminded him when he was lost, motivated him when he was down, brought him a smile when he was sad, gave him all he had… the least Tezuka could do was to erase Fuji's pain and give himself happiness.
But was the risk worth everything? Hadn't it been too late? Hadn't he been on this road alone for too long to search for companion? Hadn't he made his decision a long time ago?
Closing his eyes, Tezuka searched for conclusion, weighing between emotion and logic. Painful seconds ticked by as he continued his mental calculation. It wasn't easy and he wished he had more time or time would slow down to allow him to think and make a decision. But time did not wait. It never did.
"Tezuka-san, the car is ready to take you to the airport."
Tezuka opened his eyes, stared blankly at the man in standing by his door, took a deep breath, and stood up from his seat. He didn't know if the tight clenching of his heart was from relief or regret but didn't pause to give it even a brief second of consideration. "Yes. Thank you."
He had made his choice. There was no place to turn back.
Weep not for the memories
A/N: Would you like to read the happy end? Let me know and I'll try to post. R&R, please!