A/N: this song has a special meaning to me. It kinda tells my story and is one of my all time favorite songs. I hope you like my interpretation of it. Also, thanks to my beta aniprincess_13 for beta-ing though her school is trying to eat her up. I feel your suffering, sister!
Disclaimer: song isn't mine. Charas aren't either. I gain no profit from writing and posting this.
I love the time and in between
The calm inside me
In the space where I can breathe
I believe there is a
Distance I have wandered
To touch upon the years of
Reaching out and reaching in
Holding out holding in
The setting was definitely not ideal. There were tiny puddles of water on the floor, the air reeked of sweat (they couldn't risk opening the windows to let fresh air in), somebody had forgotten his sock on the bench, and there was a foul scent that could only be coming from one of Inui's inventions. Yet they paid no mind to them. To them, this was sanctuary, this was haven.
Tezuka loved the soft skin under the cloth he caressed, the sweet apple scent he inhaled, the gentle embrace around him, the pliant lips beneath his. He closed his eyes, savoring the moment, enjoying the intimacy. He ignored the tickling of lust, focusing instead in the affection conveyed through the connection. He tried to deepen the kiss, pressing forward clumsily, driven by the craving for more of the feel, the scent, the taste, the understanding, the compassion, the feeling of being where he belonged. He wanted it to last forever. He wanted to be lost in this kiss. He wanted to be lost in this feeling. He wanted to be lost in Fuji.
They broke the kiss, panting for the much needed breath. Tezuka leaned his forehead onto Fuji's, greedily inhaling much needed air while watching Fuji. He absentmindedly caressed the brunette's slightly damp hair. He adored the light flush on Fuji's cheeks and wanted to kiss him again when his eyes drifted briefly to his slightly swollen lips. His own glasses were pressed against his face but he didn't care. He wanted to be like this forever.
How long had he wanted this? How long had he realized that he wanted this? How long had he dreamt of this? How many times had he pushed the emotion away? How long did it take for him to realize that this was what he wanted and needed? It had taken them two years to get to this stage but to Tezuka it was forever.
"Tezuka." Fuji gasped. His voice trembled slightly when he spoke. "We have to go home."
Tezuka nodded and let Fuji leave his lap. He regretted the loss of contact immediately but Fuji had moved away to collect his belongings. Slowly he got up from the bench and followed Fuji's lead, gathering his stuff and putting them to his bag. His mind was still incoherent, focusing only on Fuji. His senses seemed to be drawn to the petite boy's every movement. Tezuka couldn't help but pay attention to the rustling of his clothes when he put his uniform on, the sharp zipping sound of his bag being closed, and his presence at the back of his mind. His hand was slightly shaking due to the burning need to embrace the man a few meters from him but he forced himself to finish his task.
They looked at each other once they were presentable. There was a bit of uncertainty in Fuji's eyes and smile but there was definitely wonderment and curiosity there, too. Tezuka approached him slowly, thrilled by how the distance decreased between them again. He stopped when he was two steps away from Fuji to look at him closely, wondering how he could wait for this for two years. How he had been able to resist this beauty for so long was beyond him now for he was certain that ever since this moment he would never let him go.
Tezuka held out a hand. "Let's go." He said softly, not wanting to ruin their language of silence.
Fuji's grip was hesitant and loose at first so Tezuka tightened his. He looked into Fuji's blue eyes to assure him of what he knew now for certain. After a while, a more confident smile spread on Fuji's face and he nodded. "Let's go."
This is heaven to no one else but me
And I'll defend it as long as I can be
Left here to linger in silence
If I choose to
Would you try to understand
They didn't try to hide it from their friends but somehow only few realized. Curiosity was replaced by puzzlement then by understanding. Perhaps they should be grateful that none of their closest friends minded as some people might. They could not care less at that time for the world seemed to belong to only them. Others' opinion barely mattered to them at that point as they were too lost in each other.
"Congratulations. And good luck." Oishi had told them one day when he caught them walking home together hand in hand.
Tezuka had glared at him then, wondering what he meant. Fuji's smile became a little strained but Oishi's genuine smile slowly put them at ease. "Thank you." Tezuka said tensely, bowing slightly as he tightened his grasp on Fuji's chilling hand.
Oishi pat Tezuka's shoulder lightly before he left them to go home. But they remained there for a few moments longer after Oishi disappeared. When Fuji began to tug his hand back, Tezuka was roused from his thought. He refused to let Fuji's hand go and stared at him, arguing silently with him, trying to rest his uncertainty. Fuji relented in the end, shifting a little closer to Tezuka as they continued to walk down the silent road.
I know this love is passing time
Passing through like liquid
I am drunk in my desire...
But I love the way you smile at me
I love the way your hands reach out and hold me near...
Fuji thought it should last this long. Or maybe it should end soon. This wasn't meant to be. There were many reasons to believe that they don't have forever. And to break this now would be ideal. They would have to part sooner or later anyway. College didn't provide as much free time as middle school did. Who knew how they would continue their relationship under that circumstance? And what if their families disapproved? How would they be able to go in that situation? There was no guarantee that they would be able to always remain together. They could no longer deny it. It was there, waiting for them in the corner. Fuji wasn't sure if they could handle it. Maybe he should end it right here, right now, before either of them could get hurt more.
The thought alone hurt him more than he imagined. His body grew cold just imagining going on without Tezuka. Tears rose to his eyes when he thought of being alone, no more Tezuka by his side, no more Tezuka to hold him, care for him… Could he live a life without Tezuka? No. Fuji knew he would rather die… for a life without Tezuka was death to him.
The idea surprised him. He hadn't quite realized how much he felt for Tezuka. The strength of his affection was bordering on violent, frightening him. How did he feel so much for Tezuka? Weren't they just friends back then? Weren't they just teammates? When did his feelings grow into something more than companionship? When did it became so much?
He hadn't realized how much he came to need Tezuka. Forever that had once seemed like a dream now became a craving. He needed this, needed Tezuka to stay with him, to be with him… But the inevitable was coming and they couldn't avoid it. They would part. He knew it. It was coming. They would part. And he would be alone. Without Tezuka.
"Shuusuke?" Tezuka frowned slightly as he tried to focus his sight. Gently he caressed Fuji's cheek. "What's wrong?"
Fuji shook his head and smiled. His smile widened a little when Tezuka stretched his body a little, looking relaxed and comfortable in a place that wasn't his own. He had also adopted that -or perhaps he was the first to do so, he couldn't remember. But awkwardness of being in another's personal place had been gone long ago as they began to understand that the invitation to the private room was an invitation to know the person behind the persona. Knowing that he was the first and the only one privileged to see the real Tezuka elated Fuji. He knew for sure that whatever might happen he would be the only one, the only one to see this side of Tezuka.
Catching his stare, Tezuka smiled lightly and held out his hands, inviting Fuji into his embrace. Fuji shifted closer, settling himself on Tezuka's chest, listening to his heartbeat as he wrapped his arms around Tezuka's torso. He inhaled Tezuka's musky scent as he basked in the warmth of his naked body. Jealousy and fear rose within him again. He couldn't let this to be taken away from him.
"Tell me you'll stay with me." Fuji whispered.
Tezuka's silence lasted a second too long and Fuji began to fear the answer. But then Tezuka held him tighter and whispered his reply. "I will stay with you. Always…"
Oh the quiet child awaits the day when she can break free
The mold that clings like desperation
Mother can't you see I've got
To live my life the way I feel is right for me
Might not be right for you but it's right for me...
The trembling of Tezuka's hand was hidden beneath the table but Fuji kept his eyes on it as he bowed his head low. He admired Tezuka's bravery to raise his head proudly for Fuji himself couldn't even lift his eyes. He wanted to hold Tezuka's hand and share the power and the courage that they both needed but the continuous cries and screams halted him. He bit his lip quietly, trying not to shrink away when he was needed the most.
The words that escaped Ayana were incorrigible amidst the constant streams of tears but they understood enough to know that those weren't blessing. Tezuka almost winced when Ayana wailed and buried her face in her husband's shoulder. The guilt of making his normally calm mother so devastated was nearly unbearable but he stood his ground. He glanced at Fuji next to him, seeing his fear and grief clear as day and strengthened his resolve.
"How could you do this?" Tezuka's father spoke for his mother, glaring at them.
They could understood their disappointment, had expected it when they asked their audience just a while ago. But the painful rejection still hurt nonetheless. Though they had known it was coming, they still hoped that things could be different, that somehow Tezuka's parents would understand. Apparently it was too much to hope for and though they understood Tezuka's parents' anger towards them, their desire to see Tezuka grow to be that respectable person they raised him to be, they couldn't give in. They refused to be unhappy. They refused to turn from the path they had paved together, a path meant for them to walk upon.
"Get out of my house! How dare you do this to my son?!" Ayana screamed, throwing a book towards Fuji who didn't try to dodge. "Leave my son alone! I won't let him become something like you!"
Tezuka's eyes became steely and he straightened up his back menacingly. "Mother, I must ask you to stop." He paused to give his enraged mother a cool look that did nothing to hide the fury he felt inside. His mother could say whatever she wished but she could not insult Fuji. He grabbed Fuji's hand, holding it in his un-trembling grip. "I love Shuusuke. That will never change whether you agree or not. If you do not wish to approve us, then I am willing to be disowned from this family."
Fuji looked at Tezuka, wide-eyed. His surprise of the public confession turned to worry, however and he began to panic. Is this the right thing to do? Was it right to take Tezuka away from his family and the bright future waiting for him? Was it fair? Wasn't it just selfishness? Fuji shook his head. No, it shouldn't be like this. He didn't want it to be like this. "Kunimitsu, please…" He pleaded Tezuka. "Don't do this to them, to you. Don't do this for me…"
"If this is what it takes to be with you then I will do it." Tezuka replied, unfazed by Fuji's plea, still staring at his shocked parents.
The sound of the door sliding open drew their attention. Tezuka's grasp on Fuji's hand tightened slightly as he swallowed thickly. Fuji could see that the determination didn't disappear from his eyes though and he knew that he would fight for him still even if he had to confront his grandfather. Tezuka knew that he could not lose this. He could not give this up. He could not give Fuji up.
Kunikazu's sharp eyes were locked onto his grandson's for a long moment before shifting to Fuji's. Fuji tried not to look away though he was nervous. Tezuka shifted closer when he began to tremble in anxiety.
"Do you love him?" Kunikazu asked quietly.
Fuji was stunned, not expecting that question from the elderly man. But he schooled his emotion quickly and gave his honest answer. "I do. I love him." He replied quietly with a slight smile, tired, scared, hopeful but loving. "I love Tezuka Kunimitsu." He said again, louder this time, growing braver the more he said it. There was no need to be afraid when one said only the truth and Fuji had stated the truth. He loved Tezuka. "I love him." Love him with all his heart, his soul, his everything that he was willing to give up his happiness for Tezuka's.
"I will not leave him." Tezuka said beside Fuji. "Never." And it was his final decision. Not his parents outrage, not Fuji's plea, not his grandfather's order would make him change it. He loved Fuji. He would do anything to be with him, to share every day, every night, every tear, every smile with him. He would go against his whole family or even the whole world if that's what it takes to stay with Fuji. "Never."
Kunikazu's glare failed to intimidate him. They looked back, honest and desperate in their shared bravery. Finally he sighed, loud and wary. "Have you told your family?" he asked Fuji. "I'll accompany both of you to inform them." He said after Fuji shook his head negatively in stunned silence.
"Kuniharu." Kunikazu interrupted his son sharply. "I believe Kunimitsu is capable of making his own decisions." He glanced at Fuji, giving him a sharp but approving look. "And he has chosen him."
Ayana's wails and Kuniharu's angry gaze followed them out of the room but they barely minded them. They walked tall now behind Kunikazu, holding hands with smiles on their faces. They glanced at each other, relieved and victorious. Tezuka kissed Fuji's forehead, whispering the words he never had the chance to say to Fuji directly. "I love you."
This is heaven to no one else but me
And I'll defend it as long as
I can be left here to linger in silence
If I choose to
Would you try to understand it
Tezuka rested his head on the crook between Fuji's neck and shoulder as they laid on an unfamiliar bed, inhaling the familiar scent of his beloved. Emotions took its toll on him. He was tired and almost numb from such overwhelming feelings of sadness, happiness, disappointment, relief, and love. But he felt no regret. No, there was no room for regret for this was the right thing to do, this was the right place to be. This was where he was meant to be.
It wasn't easy to face Fuji's family who shared an almost identical reaction as Tezuka's parents. Fuji tried to explain calmly but found it difficult. He didn't know how Tezuka managed to tell his parents earlier but then again his control over his emotion was not a match for Tezuka. He wasn't strong enough to keep silent as his parents mentioned hurtful words of disapproval. He had to hold Tezuka's hand, had to hold back tears, had to fight to keep smiling. But the fact that Tezuka had stood up for him earlier and stayed with him then gave him all the power he needed. Even if he had some sacrifices to make, just as Tezuka did, he didn't mind, didn't care. The most important thing wasn't taken from him. The most important person was still here with him now.
Kunikazu had brought them to a small suburban house, a house that had been his home before his wife died and he moved in with his son's family. The place was well taken care of, ready to be lived in as if he had known all along that a day like this would come. Their refusal didn't budge him and like his grandson, he remained firm in his decision.
"Our home." Fuji whispered, testing the word with his tongue. He smiled, relieved, disbelieving, and happy. "Our home."
"No." Tezuka denied, rising up on his elbows. He smiled at Fuji's confusion. "Our heaven." Then he leaned down to kiss Fuji.
They knew that everything would be all right.
I would like to linger here in silence
If I choose to
Would you understand it
Would you try to understand...
A/N:okay so my life story isn't like that because I have zero romance in my life. But yeah, it's all about finding acceptance for being whoever you really are. The part where Tezuka's parents got angry scared me. I hate those kind of scenes and tried to avoid it but the plot calls for it this time. Anyway, the alternate ending for this story is that the house was burnt down while they slept. I was watching a music video when I was plotting this fic (Broken Strings by James Morrison featuring Nelly Furtado) and the fire in that video really got my attention. I wanted to end it that way but figured that I have to live to graduate from college. Hope you enjoy the open ending! Review, please? And as usual, the song could be found in my LJ. Enjoy!