Disclaimer: Nope, I don't own Prince of Tennis or the Fujis.
There was a time, he remembers, when they were so young and free and happy. Every afternoon, they would run and play and chase each other at the park until twilight dawned. Some other times, they would walk together to a hill near their house. They settled on the peak, thinking they were already at the top of the world.
That particular day, he recalls fondly, his aniki brought several pieces of origami papers to the hill. When they had sat down nicely on the grass carpet, he emerged the origami from his pocket and taught Yuuta how to fold a paper plane.
Some trials and errors, and then one paper plane turned into some, and some turned into many. Soon they were surrounded by scattered colorful paper planes and both had no idea how to bring them all home.
His aniki picked a blue paper plane and summoned a pen from his other pocket. He turned the plane upside down and delicately wrote on the bottom side of a wing.
'Live happily with Kaa-san, Tou-san, Nee-san, and Yuuta forever.'
Shusuke smiled at him, who in return watched his brother with great interest.
"Aniki, why did you write those words on the plane?"
"Paper planes," Shusuke answered readily. "Are bound to bring our hopes and dreams high to the sky. They will present our prayers to God, who will then watch us to know if our wishes worth to be granted."
Shusuke told him the tale about plane. Once upon a time, he said, there were these great siblings named Wright who had a dream about flying freely to the sky. With great cooperation and belief in each other, and after a great deal of trials and errors, they eventually succeeded in making a plane and bring everyone's dream to fly come true.
"Therefore, Yuuta," Shusuke smiled at him. "If you have a dream, let the plane carry it to the sky. Your duty is to chase after it, as high as you can."
Brown eyes sparkled at the story. Soon, the orange sky was decorated by numerous paper planes which carried their hopes and wishes far, far away.
'Wish I can have a new racket.'
'Wish I can get more chocolate candies this halloween.'
'Wish I can be as good as aniki in folding paper planes.'
Nothing, he thinks, brings more fondness than basking in the purity, honesty of simple childhood memories. The pieces of nostalgia will be stored forever in his heart.
Little paper plane flies with its wings
Carried by the wind to the endless sky
People change, wise men said. They grow and learn. They adapt to surroundings and live to expectations.
Childhood passed in flying colors and soon they found themselves no longer those carefree, naïve children. More responsibilities came as age added. While he entered a new phase where society meant more than anything, he lost the once thick bond between him and his brother. He didn't realize it until the now thin thread snapped.
He stomped away from home that day, leaving his aniki confused and looking hurt. He didn't give a damn to it. He was getting sick with all the expectations. So what if he couldn't be as good as his older brother? He was not Fuji Shusuke, the flawless tensai who seemed to excel in everything. He was Fuji Yuuta, who also had a degree of his own capability and even more degrees of pride and dignity.
He started his new life at St. Rudolph dorm since that day. Sometimes he went home, only to find his aniki acting like nothing had happened. It was getting on his nerves, how the older boy treated him like they were what they were several years back. Couldn't he see that Yuuta was tired of him, of living under his shadow?
He tried to ignore his brother every time the older boy threw teases and played pranks on him. He only had to endure it at weekend after all, it wouldn't hurt that much.
That day, however, he was particularly pissed off. St. Rudolph had just lost a match against an unseeded school, and he himself was one of the losers. People started to compare him to Shusuke again, and he was really, really pissed off.
Stepping inside the house, he stomped right away to his room, only to find the object of his emotion digging his old wardrobe like he had no privacy at all. The older sibling noticed his arrival and whirled around to give him a smile, an old radio control plane on his hands.
"Yuuta, welcome home."
"What are you doing here? Get out."
He ignored the fleeting hurt look on his brother's façade and proceeded to the bed, laying down and closed his eyes.
"I was wondering where you put this plane," Shusuke said while smiling fondly at the worn toy plane in his hands. "Do you remember this?"
"I don't feel like being nostalgic at this moment, so please just leave me alone. Bring that whatever toy with you and stop fussing around my properties," he placed an arm across his eyes, willing his brother's annoying presence to just get lost.
But the said big brother was stubborn. He should have known that.
"But Yuuta," he could imagine a pout replacing that constant smile on his aniki's face. "This was your favorite toy. Do you remember? We used to make a wish on paper planes. And then I bought you this radio control and you were so happy. You said that you were able not only to fly a plane, you could also pilot it…" The older Fuji trailed off at his sibling's silence. The blue-eyed boy sighed and sat beside his brother's head on the bed. He placed a tentative hand on the brown head. "If you were so disturbed by the result of the match yesterday, maybe you can make a wish and work harder to make it come true…"
Yuuta had had enough of this pointless ranting. He roughly brushed Shusuke's hand off and got off of the bed, nearly throwing the startled older boy off.
"Enough! Back then I was so stupid to believe in what you said about wishes and planes and all other shits… Now I just need peace and you can't even give me that! I know I looked so silly, losing to a player of an unseeded school… I'm nothing like you, and if you are here to console me about that, I think I don't need it, thank you! And I'm not so pathetic that I need a plane to make my wish come true!"
He looked at the old plane in Shusuke's hand in utter disgust. Angrily he grabbed the radio control and smacked it hard to the floor, shattering the toy into pieces.
"See, this old toy means nothing to me! I don't want to see it again! If you want to know my wish, my wish is that I won't have to see you ever again!"
Leaving the older boy shaken and dumbfounded, he turned on his heel and headed outside the house, never knowing what was bound to happen next.
Paper planes, bring me there
Back to the day when world's still so young
He had a dream.
He was back to the day of his tenth birthday. He could see the younger version of himself in the Fujis' living room with the rest of his family. A small pile of presents was stacked on one corner of the table and his eyes could not stray off of it.
He grabbed box after box and excitedly pulled out everything inside. He got a new sweater from Kaa-san! Tou-san gave him a mini video game and Nee-san bought him a stylish backpack.
His smile was already so wide when he reached the last box. It was the largest one. What did aniki get him?
He remembered tackling Shusuke immediately after he discovered the present, showering the older brother with abundant gratitude. His aniki got him a radio control plane!
"I think it's time for you to upgrade from paper planes to a more modern one," Shusuke said with a big grin. He was glad Yuuta liked the gift so much.
"Yeah! It's so cool! Now I'm able not only to fly the plane, I can also pilot it!"
Calming down from his ecstatic state, Yuuta asked, "Aniki, recently you stopped buying foods and books. Were you saving to buy me this?"
Shusuke just smiled in return. "Anything for you, Yuuta."
Thereafter, he spent no day without flying his new radio control plane. For him, the plane was not just a toy. It was the carrier of his dream. He could drive it left and right, up and down, forward and around. He was happy. He could pilot his dreams to wherever he wanted. He could be whomever he wished.
His brother had taught him to dream and to chase after it. He never felt so glorious before.
As I'm sitting behind the window of this plane
I wonder where this journey will take me to
He opened his eyes to see a hung lamp on the ceiling.
Well no, it was not a lamp. It didn't light. He squinted to focus his eyesight. It looked like a thousand paper cranes that were hung like a lamp.
He ceased his wondering as one ecstatic Fuji Yumiko approached and gave him a bear hug. By then he realized he was lying on a bed in an unfamiliar room.
"Finally you wake up!"
Wake up? Oh right, he had just waken up from a dream. A dream about his tenth birthday. How weird.
"Yeah, I wake up," he yawned, eyes strayed again to the hung decoration on the ceiling. "What's so big about it?"
His Nee-san sighed and slowly stroked his head that, he just noticed, was bandaged thickly.
"You had been in coma for over a month, Yuuta," the oldest Fuji sibling explained patiently. "That day you strode out of the house so hastily and there was a truck coming and…" There were tears in her eyes.
Yuuta frowned. When was that? Ah, he remembered now. That day he had a quarrel with his aniki about an old toy…
He froze, a wave of guilt washing over him. That plane...
"Nee-san," brown eyes scanned the all-white room. "Where's aniki?"
The weeping sister looked like she had just realized that the other sibling was not around.
"Weird, Shusuke never left your side ever since you were in coma. He still somehow blames himself for everything," Yumiko frowned, but the smiled again. "He must have something to do. He will come, don't worry. He knows you will wake up about today. The doctor has told us yesterday. Kaa-san and Tou-san will arrive in about an hour, by the way."
He nodded slowly. For some unknown reason, he felt something amiss. If he were expected to wake up today after a month long coma, his brother would surely be the one who waited to hug him first.
He remembered how shaken his aniki looked when he broke the plane. He bit his lower lip. Now that he thought about it, he was a bit too emotional that day. He shouldn't have done it. And now Shusuke was blaming himself.
"Nee-san," he suddenly called, pointing at the paper cranes on the ceiling that had plagued him ever since his waking. "What's that?"
"Paper planes," Yumiko answered, eyes darted towards the origami planes. "Everyday since you were admitted to the hospital, Shusuke made these planes and hung them on the ceiling. He said they were his best wishes for you," Yumiko shrugged. "He tends to have weird habits, you know."
He watched as his sister dragged a chair and climbed it. She took down the paper planes and gave it to him. She helped him sit up on the bed and placed the origami creations on a space on the bed.
His first instinct was to look under the planes' wings. As expected, every plane had its own message.
'Wish Yuuta wake up soon.'
'Wish Yuuta will forgive me.'
'Wish Yuuta and I can play together again.'
The words were simple and short, but he knew they were his brother's truest wishes.
'Wish I can bake Yuuta raspberry pie when he wakes up.'
'Wish Yuuta will be more careful when he crosses the street.'
'Wish Yuuta win his next match.'
'Wish Yuuta get everything he wishes.'
He couldn't help but smile. His aniki's wishes sounded very much like a child's prayers. Before he knew it, there were tears across his smile.
"If you have a dream, let the plane carry it to the sky. Your duty is to chase after it, as high as you can."
His brother had taught him to dream and to chase after it.
"Back then I was so stupid to believe in what you said about wish and planes and all other shits… I'm not so pathetic that I need a plane to make my wish come true!" He grabbed the radio control and smacked it hard to the floor, shattering the toy into pieces. "See, this old toy means nothing to me! I don't want to see it again!"
What had he done?
"If you want to know my wish, my wish is that I won't have to see you ever again!"
His eyes widened.
'Wish Yuuta get everything he wishes.'
He paled as he looked up from the paper plane on his lap.
"Twilight," Yumiko said suddenly, looking dazedly through the window.
He saw it too, the fantastic orange hues coloring the darkening sky. He could almost see paper planes flying towards the setting sun, thrown by two laughing boys from a hill near their house.
And he saw him, a smiling boy looking fondly back at him.
"Aniki!" He shouted out, pointing at the older boy outside the window. "What is he doing there? Why doesn't he just come in?"
He was faced by a puzzled Yumiko, who was looking at the same place but did not seem to see anything at all. "What are you talking about? Shusuke?"
"He's there!" Yuuta pointed again, eyes never leaving the boy behind the window who was now waving gaily at him.
Yumiko looked worriedly at him. "Yuuta," she said patiently. "Your room is on the fifth floor. There's no way Shusuke can be outside your window."
Yuuta turned to stare at his sister, uncomprehending, before turning again to confirm his brother's presence, only to find the sight of a jet plane flying far away towards the orange clouds.
"How foolish of me! I should have got you a doctor!" Yumiko reprimanded herself and headed for the door. She opened it and stopped in track. She looked down at an object abandoned on the floor in front of the door, a frown marring her face.
The oldest sibling picked up the object and brought it to Yuuta. "Do you know what this is?"
But Yuuta never heard the question. His eyes were stuck on the object in Yumiko's hand.
A cracked, plastered up old radio control plane was staring back at him.