Seven Years and A Letter
by Eliza Natsuko
Disclaimers : I do not own PoT.
Warning : ~5000 words.
A/N : Written for christmas_cacti in LJ. Beta-read by lovefujitez. She's the best! Enjoy~ ^^
"Fuji-san, you have about fifteen minutes, would you like something to eat before the meeting?" A tall woman spoke as she checked the diary in her hand. She was clad in a sharp-looking black business suit with a beige shirt underneath and her beautiful black hair was rolled into a neat bun. The soft thump of her heels against the marbled floor increased as she tried to catch up with her manager.
"Kiyokawa-san, tell me again what's the agenda for the meeting?" Fuji inquired, slightly out of breath. He walked passed the main door and muttered a soft thanks to whoever kept the door opened for him. He turned towards the elevator and quickly pressed the gold button with an arrow pointing upwards. "And no thanks, I don't want anything to eat."
"Fuji-sama plans to introduce an important person during the meeting, but I'm not quite sure who this person is," his secretary replied.
Fuji sighed, "Father really needs to know that not everybody is free to attend a meeting, simply so he could introduce a new member of the company."
Kiyokawa remained silent. After working for almost five years as Fuji Syusuke's secretary, she knew when her boss was in a foul mood.
When Fuji entered the spacious executive room, the members of the board of directors were already seated in their respective seats. Three chairs remained empty. The one at the peak of the oval table which belonged to the owner of the company, to the right was Fuji's and the last empty seat to the left was for the new member of the board.
Fuji wondered about the identity of the new member, to deserve a spot next to the chairman of the company. He settled in his seat and concentrated on the panoramic view of Tokyo from the 52nd floor of the Prestige, his attempt to relax his mind after a strenuous morning. He just returned from Osaka after he met with an important client and planned to go home. His secretary was at the airport to inform him about the meeting and shuttled him back to corporate headquarters.
"Good morning everyone!" The chairman of the company, Fuji Hoshimi announced energetically as he pushed the heavy doors open. He walked straight to his seat and behind him, a strict-looking young man followed and sat down at the empty seat.
Fuji recognized the face all too well. His expression, although difficult to decipher, was a combination of annoyance, anger, and pain. He buried his face in his hands but quickly put on his smiling façade as soon as his father spoke.
"First of all, I thank you for attending this meeting. As mentioned on the agenda," Fuji Hoshimi picked up the document in front of him, "the purpose of this meeting is to introduce an important new member of the board."
Fuji felt the new member's eyes on him but he paid no heed and focused on the papers he pulled out from his file.
"Everyone, may I introduce the new Managing Director of the Prestige, Tezuka Kunimistu." The tall strict-looking young man stood up and everyone else, except Fuji clapped. Tezuka looked sophisticated even though his attire wasn't any different from what the others wore. Fuji thought it was his neat, trendy styled chestnut brown hair that made him look stunning.
He gave himself a mental slap at the thought and locked everything about Tezuka Kunimistu to the back of his mind.
"Tezuka-san was a top manager at the New York branch and he succeeded in keeping the New York branch solvent when it was on the verge of shutting down His marketing initiatives resuscitated the Prestige activities to its stable state." The attendees of the meeting gave the new comer another round of applause.
"Tezuka-san also is a very humble. During my last visit to New York, I met with this young man to discuss his raise but, he informed me that his salary was enough. Instead, he requested for a transfer to the main headquarters in Tokyo. So, everyone, please welcome Tezuka-san."
Tezuka stood up again and said, "I look forward to working with all of you," followed by a bow.
Fuji Hoshimi turned to Tezuka. "Tezuka-san, this is my son, Fuji Syusuke." He gestured to his right. Then, he resumed, "He is the CEO of this company. I hope you'll work together with him to achieve greater success for our company."
"I will try my very best, sir." Tezuka replied honestly.
Fuji, on the other hand, kept his focus on the papers, refusing to meet Tezuka's eye.
Fuji Hoshimi was sipping his coffee while enjoying the view from his office window when he heard a violent knock on his door. He sighed. There was only one person who dared to knock rudely on his door. He placed his coffee cup on the saucer and muttered a soft, "Come in."
"Father," Fuji Syusuke stomped into his office, "I refuse to work with Tezuka Kunimitsu."
"Why, Syusuke? I thought both of you were in good terms, I mean, you went to the same university as him, yes?" The chairman placed his elbows on the table and rested his chin on his linked fingers, "In fact, if I remember correctly, you even lived with him."
"But father, that was seven years ago!"
"My son, you should know that what I decide is for the best of the company," he took a long sip from his cup as if giving his son time to calm down, "I don't know what happened seven years ago but I do hope that you would not mix your personal matters with work. Do you understand me?"
"Yes, father," Fuji wanted to protest, but he knew his father was right.
"Good. I know you've just arrived from Osaka this morning. Why don't you go home and get some rest?"
"Yes, father. I will."
With that, the CEO withdrew from the chairman's office and headed home.
Piles and piles of folders were stacked on Fuji's desk, thick files which contained contracts with other companies, projects proposals and other documents that required his approval and signature. There was a knock on the door. He glanced up and recognized the silhouette on his opaque glass door.
Fuji rolled his eyes in frustration. He was too inundated with documents to read, exhausted and unprepared to deal with Tezuka face to face, but he would have to eventually. He dawns his signature smile and beckons the man into his office.
"Syusuke," Tezuka called out warmly.
"Tezuka, you're no longer in New York so I hope you would address me with more formality." Fuji stated coldly despite the smile still in place.
He pretended to ignore the flicker of emotion that appeared on Tezuka's brown eyes.
"Fuji, I was wondering if you would like to have dinner with me tonight. I've made a reservation at the-"
"Sorry but I can't," Fuji stopped Tezuka's sentence midway, "I already have plans."
"If there's nothing else," the CEO collected several black files from his desk and handed them to Tezuka, "review these proposals, I only want to know about the ones that are worth considering."
When Tezuka finally left his office, Fuji let out the breath he was holding, absent-mindedly. He pressed a red button on the telephone and asked his secretary for a cup of tea, the warm brew always helped him to refocus.
On his way on from work Fuji stopped at a fast food restaurant, ordered a chicken burger and some nuggets before heading home. While driving, he wondered which restaurant Tezuka made their dinner reservation.
'Maybe he made the reservation at a hotel,' he thought. In the past, they always went to a hotel for an expensive dinner when Tezuka made Fuji angry. 'Well, that was the past.' Fuji reminded himself and concentrated on his driving.
Before Tezuka could attempt to knock on Fuji's office door, he heard a soft but audible, "Come in." from inside and entered the room as instructed.
"Have a seat, Tezuka," Fuji welcomed his working partner. Judging from Fuji's tone of voice, Tezuka concluded that he was in a pretty good mood this morning.
"I've read these proposals and prepared one myself," Tezuka stated. He flipped through the papers and presented his recommendation to Fuji, "I think this project is worth considering. If it is a success, not only will Prestige make millions but we'll be known nation wide."
"That's a very good opportunity to expand our business," Fuji replied, fully understanding Tezuka's recommendation, "very well, we'll propose this project at the next scheduled board meeting."
"And," Tezuka pushed a closed file towards the CEO, "you might want to review this proposal as well."
"I will. Thank you."
Fuji scanned through the file as soon as Tezuka walked out the door.
'I have to admit, the brightness in Tezuka didn't fade a bit since high school. His ideas continue to be almost perfect all the time.' Fuji thought. 'What's this, another sound idea?'
He carefully read the entire report but Fuji decided that the proposal was not as eye-catching as the one Tezuka discussed with him earlier. He turned to the last page and noticed that the signature under 'Prepared by,' didn't belong to Tezuka.
He placed the file close to the edge of the table and reviewed Tezuka's report. While perusing through the pages, his elbow accidentally pushed the file he placed near the edge, causing its contents to scatter all over the floor.
Cursing softly, Fuji bent down to pick up the papers. Among the white papers, a smaller piece of red paper with yellow prints caught his eyes. It was a ticket to see CATZ in concert on December 7. Excited, he quickly stood up and checked the calendar on his desk. The concert was in four days but the date book before him didn't look promising. He was too busy to even see his all-time favorite band CATZ.
'But wait... This is an invitation?' The enthusiasm in Fuji was scrubbed out by the frown on his face.
The next four days were tough for Fuji. He was a big fan of CATZ and knew very well that it was impossible to secure a ticket now, especially one with such good seats. He wanted to go. He couldn't miss the concert but he didn't want to attend the concert with Tezuka. It was indeed tough for Fuji to make a decision.
'Oh, I know. I can just say no to him and then I'll attend the concert myself.' The honey-brown haired man snapped his finger as the idea popped in his brilliant mind. After a second thought, he frowned, 'I'm sure the seats are adjacent though. How could he not see me?'
He sighed deeply and dropped the precious ticket in his desk drawer.
Each time Fuji retrieved papers or stationeries from his desk drawer, he would take out the colorful printed ticket, holding it before his eyes and stared at it for a full minute before he returned the ticket to its original spot.
On the day of the concert, Fuji still couldn't make up his mind. Pressure started building up when Tezuka informed him via email that he would wait for Fuji at the north entrance. He tapped his fingers on the polished surface of his desk while staring at Tezuka's email.
"Fuji-san?" his secretary peeped from the small opening of the door.
"Yes?" Fuji finally averted his eyes from the computer screen to acknowledge his secretary.
"May I come in? I knocked several times but there were no answer. So, I was wondering..."
"Yes. Please, come in."
His secretary gently closed the door behind her and walked up to her boss. "The president of Kagami Corporation would like to reschedule his meeting with you. I've checked your calendar and you're free on the requested date?"
"If my schedule is free then I'm fine with that."
"Yes, sir, I'll confirm your availability with Mr. Kagami."
"Kiyokawa-san, do you know that there'll be a performance tonight by a musical group?" Fuji queried but secretly hoped that his secretary wouldn't know.
"Yes CATZ! I tried to get a ticket but they were all sold out."
"Do you want to go?" he asked, "I have a ticket and something came up and I hate to waste it. So, if you want it..."
"Oh, yes! Of course, Fuji-san, thank you so much!" Kiyokawa exclaimed happily.
"You're welcome," he hesitantly, though not obvious, gave the precious ticket to his secretary.
"Thank you, sir," she took the ticket and gave Fuji the brightest smile she could give.
"And please use the north entrance to enter the stadium," Fuji paused for a moment as if to choose the right word to use, "someone will be waiting there for me, please let the person know that you're attending in my place."
"I will sir," Kiyokawa bowed deeply, trying not to skip out of the room with joy.
Later in the evening, Fuji was home relaxing on his couch while eating instant noodles.
He reached for the remote control, turned on the television and watched the live broadcast of the CATZ concert. Suddenly, a flash of lightning brightened the dark sky, followed by a loud roar then rain started to pour.
The following morning, Fuji was taking pictures of Tokyo from his office, the view of the city was amazingly clear after last night's rainfall. The phone rang, interrupting him from his favorite stress relieving activity. He answered the phone as he rested his expensive camera on his lap.
"Fuji-san, Tezuka-san called in sick and applied for a leave. His voice was hoarse. I think he caught a cold," his secretary reported.
"Kiyokawa-san, how was the concert last night?" Fuji couldn't help but inquire.
"I didn't make it to the concert, due to the heavy downpour," his secretary stated sadly, "I could barely see anything in front of me and I couldn't drive in such hazardous condition. I'm sorry to waste the ticket, Fuji-san."
Fuji fought his inner voice screaming at the back of his mind the reason for Tezuka's cold. "That's okay," he slumped hard into his chair, ''that stupid... He didn't wait in the pouring rain, did he?'
After the concert fiasco, Tezuka continued to send Fuji invitations to dinner, the movies or sports activities he knew the other executive was interested in. He sent him e-mails and voice mail messages. He used subtle approach like inserting movie tickets in between work sheets, and sending his invitations by regular mail. He never asked Fuji personally since he noticed Fuji was all business talk and nothing else with him.
He even attempted to make an 'official' appointment with Fuji through his secretary, requesting the CEO to discuss some business proposals at a nearby café. Tezuka was immediately called into Fuji's office and the so-called business meeting was done in less than ten minutes.
It was family night at the Fuji's residence. Once a month the three siblings would gather at their parents' home for dinner. It was Yumiko's idea to keep the close ties in their family.
Fuji looked up from his meal and acknowledged his sister, who sat opposite from him at the round table.
"Yes neesan?" he replied while he reached for a piece of smoked salmon with his chopsticks.
"The apartment you used during college, is it empty right now?" the older Fuji asked as she cut the steak into smaller cubes for her son.
"Yes, it's empty."
"One of my former schoolmates will be visiting from America, so I was wondering if she could stay at the apartment during her visit."
"Sure neesan, I'll go tidy up this weekend," Syusuke reached for another piece of smoked salmon and placed it on his younger brother's plate, "here, Yuuta. Eat up."
"A-Aniki! I can get it myself!"
Even now as adults, Syusuke still loved to tease his younger brother and Yuuta still blushes whenever his brother showed him some affection.
Fuji stood before the door to his former apartment. He inserted the key and unlocked the door. He hesitated for a moment from entering the one place that was filled with memories he never wanted to remember.
He slightly nudged the door but something blocked it from the other side. When he flicked a switch, turning the hallway lights on, he noticed the piles of old mail, probably leaflets and useless junk mail. He casually used his foot to shove the envelopes aside and finally entered the apartment.
The apartment was completely silent, except for the clinking of his keys and the quick click of the door when it gently closed behind him. The warm incandescent lights illuminated the living room. He smiled. The apartment was cleaner than he had expected, and required only a little polishing and dusting here and there.
Fuji then walked towards the bedrooms. He froze in front of the master bedroom. Slowly, he turned the silver door knob and took a small step into their room.
The first thing Fuji wanted to do was tear down the huge framed photo above the king size bed but he didn't. He couldn't do it. The picture was one of his best shot after all. He stared at the black and white photo of two men, shoulder up, their foreheads joined, nose touched and lovely smiles on their lips.
It was a photo of Tezuka and Fuji.
Giving the photo one last glare, Fuji sat on the bed and worked on emptying the drawers of the bedside table. There were magazines, mostly on photography at the bottom drawer and mini bottles of moisturizer lotion, he used for his skin, were at the middle drawer. When Fuji pulled the top drawer, he was surprised to see a piece of nicely folded paper and a simple silver ring on top of it.
He unfolded what appeared to be a note. He recognized the neat hand writing right away and read the contents silently.
Please don't hate me for doing this. I've given this a lot of thought and considered every possible outcome but I've made my decision to pursue my studies in Germany.
We've discussed this and I know you disagreed with me, but an opportunity like this will never come twice. I'm very grateful to have received a scholarship from your father's company. You know that I'm just a child from an average family. My family can't afford to pay my school fees but I can't have you to pay for my education.
Living with you for the past two years was the best time in my life. But I'm a greedy person, Syusuke. I want more than this. I'm leaving with you this ring as a promise, when I return from Germany, I will propose to you.
Even if you reject me, I will do whatever it takes to bring us back together.
I love you very much.
I know I'll hurt you with this decision but, I need you to believe that I will be back for you and until then, please wait for me. I will write to you every month until my return. Please write to me and let me know your new cell number once you've got it, alright?
I'm missing you already.
21st April, 2001.
When Fuji read the last word in the note, he was teary-eyed. His mind was blank, as he stared at the silver ring resting on his palm. Somehow the hatred and anger he felt for Tezuka, for the past seven years, vanished. Annoyed by his sudden realization, he slammed the ring hard on the bedside table, and buried his face in his hands. He combed his hair with both his hands before he tightly fisted a handful of his hair. If he yanked a little more, Fuji would've ripped his hair out but he didn't care.
The memories he made with Tezuka rushed vividly through his mind like a bursting floodgate. He was once again in limbo. He was angry, confused, forgiving and still in love. He was in denial for seven years, but knew all along, he was waiting for Tezuka to come back.
With just one letter Tezuka wrote years ago, the pain he suffered for the past seven years faded away. By simply discovering the reason why Tezuka left him behind, the mental torture he dealt with was ignored. Despite the sadness he lived through those years, he still yearned for him.
Fuji was angry at himself. Why couldn't he hate Tezuka? Why was he still in love with him?
As if something suddenly clicked, Fuji stood up from his bed and took quick steps to the door where the letters remained piled on the floor. He knelt down, and carefully opened one of the envelopes, his hands shook when he unfolded the letter. He recognized the writing. He didn't bother to read the contents but scanned the letter for a signature and date.
Tezuka Kunimitsu. 2nd November, 2004.
He grabbed another envelope and tore it open.
Tezuka Kunimistu. 17th Jun, 2006.
He did this over and over again
Tezuka Kunimistu. 23rd Jnuary, 2002.
Tezuka Kunimistu. 11th May, 2005.
Tezuka Kunimistu. 4th October, 2004.
Tezuka Kunimistu. 14th February, 2007.
Tezuka Kunimistu. 30th August, 2003.
All the letters were from him.
He went limp as he pulled out a photograph from another envelope. The picture he saw made the tears roll down Fuji's cheeks. It was a pie. An apple pie, Fuji knew.
'Happy 11th' was printed in white cream, not as neat as the writing on the letters. Fuji didn't need to check the letter which accompanied the photo to know that it was written by Tezuka Kunimistu on 29th of July, to celebrate the day when they started dating.
"Ne, Kunimitsu, tomorrow will be our first anniversary together. Did you get me anything?" Fuji asked as he snuggled closer to his boyfriend.
"Did you?" The bespectacled boy questioned back. He bookmarked the page he was reading, setting it aside and snaked an arm around the other boy.
"Of course I did!" Fuji answered in a playful shocked tone as if he was surprised that Tezuka thought he didn't, "but you don't need to buy anything okay?"
"Syuusuke, I'm not as rich as you to get something from the stores. Even if I did, it would be something cheap."
"That's why I want an apple pie," Fuji's smile broadens when he saw the disapproving look on Tezuka's face, "I want an apple pie for our anniversary.
After a moment of deep thinking, Tezuka finally agreed. The next day, Tezuka knew the apple pie turned out to be the worst apple pie, no make that the worst thing Fuji have ever eaten. He tried to stop Fuji from eating with reasons such as "You'll get food poisoning." and "I'll buy you a delicious one," but Fuji just shook his head and said that it was the best apple pie he had. Ever since then, every year, Tezuka worked hard to bake a better apple pie for Fuji on their anniversary and every year, it did get better.
Fuji couldn't help but recall one of the sweetest deeds Tezuka did for him. He leaned against the wall, blue eyes stared into nothingness and slowly, tears streamed down his already stained cheeks. Droplets of tears soaked the envelopes before him. He clutched the ring that held a very important promise for the future and the photo that reminded him of the past, rested on his lap.
Looking at the photo once more, Fuji smiled, suddenly he missed the delicious taste of Tezuka's baked apple pie.
The next day, Fuji turned up in his with slightly swollen eyes. When he was questioned by his secretary, he simply dismissed it with a ridiculous excuse that he watched a really heart-warming soap opera last night.
The young CEO was preparing his reports and documents for the monthly meeting with the board of directors when there was a knock on the door. Giving permission for the guest to come in, he wasn't surprised to see his secretary but he was a little surprised when Tezuka came in after her.
"Fuji-san, the meeting starts in ten minutes. Here are some of the other documents that might be useful and Tezuka-san wants to-" before Kiyokawa finished her sentence, her eyes caught something on Fuji's ring finger.
"Fuji-san!" both men were taken aback by the sudden yelp from Kiyokawa, "is that an engagement ring?"
Kiyokawa pointed at the silver ring on Fuji's finger. Tezuka's eyes were immediately focused on the ring and Fuji didn't miss how the taller man's eyes widened.
"Well," Fuji toyed with the ring and paused for a moment, creating suspense in the room. He looked at Tezuka from the corner of his eyes before trailing his gaze back onto the ring.
"It all depends whether the promise is kept."
Fuji wanted to laugh at the confused look on his secretary's face but refrained from doing so.
"I don't really understand but I demand a detailed explanation once the meeting ends," Fuji chuckled at his secretary's order, as if she was Fuji's boss and he did something unforgivable.
Tezuka remained in the room and waited until Kiyokawa-san closed the door. Fuji, on the other hand, didn't question Tezuka for staying nor did he give him any questioning looks.
"So, would you go out to dinner with me tonight Fuji?" Tezuka queried while he approached closer to his CEO.
"Dinner..." Fuji paused on purpose to watch Tezuka's expression, as he closed the gap between them even more, "…would be great, Kunimitsu."
Reviews are always welcomed :)