Fuji tries to look for him, everywhere he can think of, but he's gone, disappeared, without a trace.
Fuji remembers him, remembers him clearly, and he knows the boy is real. The boy can't be fake, he can't be from a dream. He even knows his name.
The memories are all so very clear to him, and if the boy really is a figment of his imagination he feels like his world will break.
It's unfortunate, how no one else remembers him, how no one remembers there being a ninth team member in their group at Seigaku.
Where are you?
The boy has disappeared. All but vanished, from everywhere, even from memories. Fuji can clearly see a empty spot in the pictures he finds of their tennis team, the group pictures with everyone smiling. He imagines the ninth person, smirking a little, cap over his eyes, one hand in his pocket.
That boy is the only reason why they've won Nationals. It's almost certain that if Echizen Ryoma weren't in their tennis team, they most likely wouldn't have been able to win Nationals. They wouldn't have been able to beat Rikkaidai. And yet he's been forgotten so easily, disappeared so easily, as if he's an unimportant existence, and that makes him angry.
This boy is important to them, to all of them, and yet he's just gone without a trace.
Fuji will find him. He definitely will.
Fuji can hear Echizen's voice through his dreams. It's always very faint, but he can hear it, no matter what dream it is.
Sometimes the voice gets louder, and sometimes it gets softer. Fuji sometimes tries to follow the voice but he ends up going around in circles and everything he sees starts to swirl around in his vision until he can't make out anything anymore. Then he wakes up, and it's all over, the voice has disappeared, and Echizen's still not here.
He wonders what will happen if he chases that voice one day, in his dreams.
--how about here?--
Each time Fuji sleeps, he tries. He tries to follow that voice, but something always pulls him back. He either goes around in circles, or he can't make out which direction the voice is, or the voice gets farther away no matter how close Fuji gets.
He wants to be able to find that voice, find it and bring it back with him.
--how about there?--
Fuji has a dream where there's water surrounding him. The voice is still there, beckoning to him, and he reaches out to touch the water. The water ripples between his fingers.
He takes a dive, thinking it won't be too bad.
The water is ice cold, but at least he can breathe in it. It doesn't register in his brain that it's not normal for a human being to breathe underwater. It doesn't even register to him that this is a dream, and he dives under, looking at the pretty shimmering blue water that's before him.
He swims around, enjoying the sensation of water sliding through his skin. It's not wet like he's expected, it's more like he's swimming through a cool layer of silk.
His arm bumps into something while he's swimming, and he's thinking it might be a fish or some sort of coral. He looks, to his left, and it ends up being a hand floating in the water.
He makes a grab for it, and wakes up.
--here and there, everywhere--
He wakes up, and the first thing he notices is that he's face down on the ground.
Fuji reaches up to his bed, and feels something warm, and he freezes up for a moment before realizing it's a hand. He takes a peek in the covers, lifting up the blankets.
He smiles, and lets the boy sleep.