Author's Note: Hello, my loyal readers. This is my first update in about a year. I've been very busy but I honestly love my stories so I'll try to be better, promise. You've begged me to finish this story and so I shall. I hope you enjoy it. Attention: I know I said three parts but this is now probably going to be between five and ten chapters. I just can't bring myself to wrap it up without a bit more first…
Chapter 3: Contrition
"So long as I live…I shall never forgive myself."- Mary Tudor
Oishi felt his work satchel slide from his shoulder and hit the bathroom floor with a dull thud. He found himself paralyzed, rooted helplessly to the spot. The moisture receded from his mouth, leaving his throat dry and clamped shut. It took him several moments before he could speak.
"Fuji," he breathed helplessly. He had not laid eyes upon his former teammate- and his former friend-in over a decade. Though he had spoken with Fuji briefly over the phone to arrange the meeting with Eiji, it was still a tremendous shock to see the tensai sitting directly in front of him.
As irony would have it, Fuji looked exactly the same. With the exception of his slight increase in height, his face was straight of out of their high school scrapbook. Right down to that light, serene smile.
Everything had changed forever because of Fuji. And Fuji himself looked not a day over 18.
While Oishi was locked in a stupor, Fuji hastily tucked the needle out of sight in a little black case lying next to him. He slipped it into the pocket of his jeans before Oishi had a chance to inspect it further.
"I've missed you," Fuji repeated, rising to his feet and extending a long, graceful arm.
Oishi, not knowing what else to do reached out and took it. The hand shake quickly merged into a hug. Oishi's eyes drifted shut. All of his earlier anger at Fuji dissipated. First and foremost…he was just happy to see his friend alive.
The two men proceeded wordlessly from the bathroom and into the kitchen. Fuji handed Oishi a cup of the coffee he'd been brewing. When Oishi took it, he noticed that his hands were shaking.
Fuji silently assumed his place across the table, sipping at his own mug and maintaining a calm smile.
"Fuji," Oishi gasped, finally regaining his senses. The word tasted forbidden on his tongue- for so long, he'd been unable to speak the name for fear of sending Eiji into hysterics.
"Yes," the man across from him whispered softly, gently confirming his existence. "It's good to se you, Oishi."
Oishi spluttered helplessly for another few moments. "I…I'm sorry about earlier. I…was occupied."
"Yes," Fuji said warmly, opening his eyes to reveal sparkling blue orbs, also undiminished by time. "Tezuka called to tell me. Congratulations, Oishi. Truly. You must be so happy."
There it was. That ripping sensation in his abdomen that came whenever someone congratulated him on his white picket fence life. On his beautiful, sweet, agonizingly dull wife and his beautiful, unwanted, nameless baby boy. And the worst part was he had no choice but to smile. When his co-workers threw his wife a baby shower, what was he supposed to say?
No, don't celebrate…I'm desperately wishing I'd worn a condom and had one less shot of whiskey?
No, stop smiling you fools…I'm totally indifferent towards my family?
Don't envy me, I'm dead inside?
But instead, Oishi said what he always said.
More silence filled the room. Fuji did not press further. His insight, his impeccable insight, probably told him all he needed to know.
"Eiji is sleeping," Fuji said quietly, in response to Oishi's unasked question. "He had a little too much to drink."
Oishi let out a stifled sound that was a cross between a snort and a laugh.
"Eiji had his first drink ten years ago," Oishi said flatly, unable to keep a slight accusatory edge from his voice, "And he's had a drink every day since."
Fuji did not avert his gaze. He winced visibly but he accepted, with a resigned silence, the blame that came with what he had done.
"I will never ask you to forgive me, Oishi. I'll never ask any of you to forgive me." The tensai's voice was nary above a whisper but he did not break eye contact.
Oishi bit back the sudden bile he felt rising to his throat. Good, he thought dryly, Because I never will. You weren't here. You weren't here when Eiji fell apart in my arms. When he sobbed and cried and woke screaming in the middle of the night…because he'd seen an image of your body, dead in some ditch on the side of the road…
Oishi shook his head vigorously to clear it of the mental image.
"Fuji," Oishi finally forced himself to ask the question that had been burning at the back of his mind for nearly a decade, "Where in God's name have you been?"
And so Oishi listened in stunned silence for a little under an hour while Fuji related his tale. At parts, Oishi could feel tears stinging the back of his eyelids and he had to look away.
"Fuji," he said helplessly, when at last the tensai fell silent, "If I never told you before…I am…so sorry about Yuuta-kun…"
Fuji's lower lip quivered for a slight second before morphing back into that familiar serene half smile.
"I've made my peace with God," he said at last, eyes drifting open to reveal blue spheres sparkling with a gentle sadness. "After all, you can rage at him all you like. But he'll still be God. And you'll still be human."
Oishi swallowed the sudden lump in his throat. Immediately, he felt the guilt rise in his belly for having judged Fuji so harshly. He'd never truly paused to understand the gravity of Fuji's loss. He'd been so damn angry…but…
What if that had been Eiji? What if I got a call, saying Eiji's body had been…severed…that he'd died slowly, bled out on the side of the road…begging in a voice to weak to be heard for someone to save him…
Oishi was shocked by his body's violent reaction to the thought. He pitched forward, squeezing his eyes tight shut until the images dissipated.
At 18, Oishi probably would've jumped off a bridge. Hell, pushing 30, he'd probably still jump off a bridge.
Fuji's voice interrupted Oishi's train of thought, for which the former voice captain was more than grateful.
"Oishi…thank you for taking care of him."
Their eyes locked. Fuji was smiling sweetly, long lashes casting a shadow on his cheeks. His eyes glistened with, if Oishi didn't know better, the beginnings of tears. Oishi saw it then- the reason why Kikimaru Eiji could never truly belong to him.
He could rage and scream but he'd still be Oishi. And Fuji would still be two wings away from being an angel.
"He loves you," Oishi whispered softly, unable to stop the words from falling from his mouth. He would probably-no, not probably. He would most definitely regret this conversation later. But even as his mouth moved of its own volition, Oishi recognized the futility of delaying this moment.
Trying to keep the genius from figuring out something so obvious, sooner or later, was like trying to keep a planet from finding the orbit of the sun.
Fuji let out a low, deep sigh and ran a hand through his smooth, honey brown locks.
"Yes," he said softly, after a long pause. "I know."
Oishi felt his mouth go dry.
Fuji hesitated. For a moment he looked as if he were contemplating lying. But then he let his eyes drift shut and lowered his gaze to the table, so that his hair shadowed the top of his face. His silence gave Oishi all the answers he needed.
Fuji had always known. Probably before Eiji himself was aware of it.
Oishi let out a rough bark of laughter. Fuji looked up, face drawn. For the first time since Oishi had seen him, he looked closer to his age.
"Eiji doesn't realize it," Fuji whispered softly, sipping his coffee. His delicate complexion was the slightest bit flushed. "And I never knew what to say."
Oishi couldn't speak. He couldn't even think. Briefly, he wondered what kind of world he lived in. What kind of God would allow someone to posses something they didn't even want, while Oishi had spent the majority of his life trying to attain that very thing?
"The needle," Oishi stated bluntly, finally finding his words. He had meant to ask before but now it was the only coherent thought his brain could form. "What was it?"
Fuji was silent as the grave. He continued to stare into the ripples of his coffee as if in there depths were the answer to all of life's mysteries. But Oishi did notice that the tensai's knuckles were deathly white.
"It's nothing," he said at last, voice a hoarse whisper, "Don't tell Eiji."
Oishi opened his mouth to speak but was cut off by a terrifying scream.
Both men looked at each other in shock for a split second, before moving at once.
They rounded the corner just as Eiji did. The acrobatic player was clad in nothing but his boxers, yet his entire body was drenched in a cold sweat. His obsidian eyes were wide with panic and his fierce red locks were plastered to his forehead.
He nearly collided with Oishi; the taller boy was able to extend his arms just in time to keep them both from crashing to the floor.
How many times has this happened?
A hundred? More?
Oishi would hold Eiji until the panic stopped. That's how it went. It was a familiar pattern. Oishi moved to speak, moved to comfort his friend but it was too late.
Eiji was already in Fuji's arms.
Fuji's expression was the pinnacle of tenderness. His beauty, in moments of compassion, was simply beyond compare.
"Eiji," he said softly, "It's alright. It was only a dream."
"You'd gone away again," Eiji choked out, voice breaking in two. He sounded like a little boy. A lost, frightened little boy.
"That will never happen," Fuji whispered softly, stroking the top of Eiji's head like one would comfort a mewing kitten. "I will never leave you again."
Oishi didn't wait for Eiji to look up. He slipped from the room without a word, picked up his bag and left the apartment.
Eiji had Fuji.
There was no reason to be here anymore.
Tezuka Kunimitsu was a rational man. Say what you will about him but no one could deny that.
Sure, his interns hated him for his impossibly high standards. His own attendings loathed him for being half their age and making twice as much as them. The nurses whined amongst that he rejected their advances, that he was too good looking and rich to be single.
Not everyone was a fan of Tezuka. But no one could admit that he was rational.
So why he was hiding yet another one of Fuji's secrets, it was impossible to tell. It made no sense. It would come out in the end.
And Eiji would hate him. Oishi, in his righteous fury, would damn near kill him.
It wasn't rational. But then again, neither was this. The naked, three time world champion pressed beneath him was not exactly part of Tezuka Kunimitsu's rational plan.
"Harder," Ryoma panted, gripping the sheets beneath him for dear life. His fighting spirit still burned bright as fire and age had done nothing to make him any less willful and brash. The 26 year old was still a cocky brat. And he was nonetheless demanding. "Tezuka, harder!"
If Tezuka had been thinking clearly, he would have told his junior to be quiet. That even though it was four o' clock in the morning, someone could knock on his office door at any time.
When Tezuka had requested a small, private bedroom and bath suite that adjoined to his office, he hadn't so much been thinking about sleep.
He'd been thinking that fucking Echizen raw on his cherry oak desk was starting to get uncomfortable.
And when he'd requested new blinds, he'd been thinking that the old ones were too thin. That a nosy passerby might be able to see Echizen crouched on his knees beneath the desk, face buried between Tezuka's open legs.
But Tezuka wasn't thinking rationally. He slammed his hips harder and faster into Ryoma, making the younger boy splutter helplessly.
It had been over three months since the last time Ryoma's schedule had allowed him to return to Japan. Both of them were frantic with pure, carnal need.
It hadn't been planned like this, by either of them. The first time Ryoma showed up at his office door, looking unbelievably handsome in a leather jacket and dark wash jeans, golden eyes gleaming…it had simply been a friendly hello. They'd ordered some sushi and reminisced about the old days.
The second time, Ryoma had moved first. He'd had his lips wrapped around Tezuka's member before the former captain could protest. Not that he would've.
The third time, it had been Tezuka who attended some stupid, irrelevant medical conference in Boston simply so that he could catch a plane to New York for a few hours and fuck Ryoma senseless.
The fourth time…well…it didn't really matter now, did it? It had been going on for about three years now.
Ryoma had told him about Fuji almost immediately. But despite scouring the continents for him, Ryoma hadn't been able to find him again.
To be honest, they usually had only mere hours together before Ryoma had to be on another plane, to win another match, to make yet another piece of history…and so there normally wasn't much talking when the two of them were alone.
Unless it was begging.
"Please, Tezuka," Ryoma moaned, muscles contracting around Tezuka's length, "Ah! Please!"
The begging, as it always did, pushed Tezuka over the edge. He released into the younger boy, feeling him spasm with pleasure as he too came. The two men collapsed onto the bed, sweaty and exhausted.
They both had to get up early. As they drifted into a familiar, comfortable sleep, Tezuka thoughts began to make their way back to the pressing concern of the moment: Fuji.
The last time they spoke, the tensai had agreed to meet everyone Friday, at one of Kawamura's many restaurants. Tezuka had sent a mass email, telling everyone that it was exceedingly important they try to attend. Though, per Fuji's request, he didn't tell them why.
Even the reclusive Inui had blown off questioning terrorists with Inui Juice to RVSP. Taka too. Momomshiro and Kaidoh were coming. Eiji and Oishi would, of course, once Tezuka got around to telling them about it. Even Ryoma had cancelled a match.
It wasn't a major match but…still. It showed just how much Ryoma cared.
"Tezuka-buchou," Ryoma mumbled, forgetting in his sleepy state that Tezuka hadn't been his captain for years.
"Is Fuji really back?"
"Yes. He's back."
"Good," Ryoma mumbled, voice fading as he drifted off into sleep, "He owes me a match."
Fuji Syusuke had made many mistakes in his relatively young life. He didn't attempt to defend himself. Others may make excuses for him but he would never make any for himself.
He'd run away, plain and simple. He'd hurt his friends and his family. He'd nearly worried Eiji into an early grave.
He'd done things for money that would cause Eiji physical pain if he were ever to discover them.
Yes. Fuji had made many mistakes.
He was starting to wonder, as Eiji lay peacefully in his arms, if coming back was one of them.
Later, he'd call his sister and tell her everything. He swallowed the sudden lump in his throat.
Oh God. His poor sister…
"Fuji," Eiji mumbled, "What's wrong?"
Fuji contemplated whether or not he should tell Eiji the truth. The two of them lay wrapped up on Eiji's couch, watching the early morning sun peak over the clouds and bath the world in a rosy glow.
"Liar," Eiji countered instantly, pushing himself up so that the two of them were eye level but still touching. "Tell me."
"Saa, Eiji…after all these years…you can still read me."
"Of course I can," Eiji huffed, indignant, "I'm your best friend."
Fuji blinked back sudden tears. Still. After everything he'd done…Eiji held nothing against him. He still...
"It's my sister," Fuji conceded at last, "I don't know how to tell her. I don't know how…she could possibly…"
Eiji's facial expression gave him away. The red head averted his dark eyes to the ceiling and bit his lip.
Fuji felt his heart stop.
"What?" He gasped. "What's happened to Yumiko?"
"Nothing!" Eiji said at once, taking Fuji's face into his hands. The tensai felt his apprehension beginning to melt away at the touch.
"She's married. Expecting also, last I heard. That's all. There's nothing wrong with her." Eiji continued, "I haven't seen her in a while but…Tezuka keeps tabs on her. For your sake. He took it upon himself to look after her after you…"
Fuji swallowed. Of course. More loose ends that he'd left behind. Tezuka had never mentioned…but then again, there was a reason Fuji had gone to Tezuka first upon returning to Japan. It had seemed only right…to return the man who had led them all through the happiest days of their lives.
But Tezuka had never mentioned Yumiko being married.
"Eiji…what aren't you telling me?"
The former Hyotei captain had aged remarkably well but that was almost to be expected. He looked virtually the same, though Fuji couldn't help but note he had grown a few inches and filled out a bit. With pure muscle, of course.
The two men stared each other down from opposite sides of Atobe's stretch limousine. Atobe was reclining against the seat, calmly sipping an apple martini. Really, did the multi-millionaire have to pick him up outside the hotel in something so damn conspicuous?
What a stupid question. Of course he did…it was Atobe.
"I thought you were dead."
"I'm not dead." Fuji said bluntly. Though he kept a cool outward façade, he was beginning to wonder if it had been such a brilliant idea to meet Atobe alone. It had been an ordeal for Fuji to convince Eiji to allow him out of the apartment. He'd had to swear up and down that he'd come back.
Of course, Fuji hadn't let on that he was planning to go see Atobe. He'd said he was going to the hotel to get his things and then going to see his sister.
Which, in a manner of speaking, was true.
"You're fucking my sister." Fuji continued, tone hard. "Really, Keigo?"
Atobe laughed, unperturbed.
"I'm not just fucking her," he quipped, tossing a strand of hair behind his ear, "I'm married to her."
Fuji felt his eye twitch in irritation.
"You couldn't have come up with a more discreet way to fuck with me?"
Atobe went silent. His trademark arrogant smirk was undeniably strained.
"You left," he whispered softly, "You left without even telling me."
The taller man looked up at the mention of his name. He had put down his martini now and closed the gap between them, pressing Fuji up against the cold glass window. Etched into every line of Atobe's face was pure, unabashed outrage.
"You left Ore-sama! You…you, lowly, sadistic bastard…how dare you!"
Fuji met Atobe's gaze without flinching.
"I left everyone, Atobe."
"I am not everyone!" Atobe growled, pressing his hand into the side of Fuji's ribcage until the tensai let out a little squeak of pain.
Atobe wasn't listening. He was too busy barking at his driver to set a course for the Tokyo penthouse.
"Not the estate, sir?"
"Did I say the estate, idiot? The apartment. Fucking step on it."
The privacy screen was drawn up before Fuji could protest or even blink.
Again, Atobe wasn't listening.
"I'll call Yumiko over from the main house," he mumbled, hands deftly removing his custom made Armani suit jacket and tossing it casually over his shoulder. Then he started on his shirt buttons. "You can talk to her as much as you like when I'm finished with you. She may take a while, though. She's slow these days…what with being knocked up and all."
Fuji let out a sharp gasp, a combination of shock, fury and pain. Atobe still had him pressed up against the window. It was difficult to draw a complete breath.
"So it's true."
"Five months," Atobe ground out, shirt falling limp around his waist. Fuji tried to look away but it was pointless. "Thirty-seven is a little old for her to be having a child, though. It's not her fault, poor thing. I can rarely manage to get it up for her. But my empire will need a new king one day so I must do my duty. We have a girl already but…what use is a girl?"
"Shouldn't we talk?" Fuji managed to whimper, "Shouldn't we talk about…"
"Later," Atobe cut him off gruffly, sliding a hand underneath Fuji's sweater. Fuji shivered.
"You're married," Fuji whispered helplessly, as Atobe removed his final articles of designer clothing with superhuman speed. "To my sister."
"So?" Atobe said curtly, pressing his naked body against Fuji. Fuji felt his body respond instantly, as if a decade had not passed since the last time they'd done this.
"This is so beyond wrong," Fuji gasped, trying to pull away but unable to find an escape route.
Atobe began to grind his hips against Fuji's, causing both men to let out a series of jagged moans.
Atobe lowered his lips to Fuji's ear.
Atobe yanked off Fuji's sweater in one fluid motion, pulling up the thin T-shirt underneath to reveal a heaving, flushed porcelain chest. Atobe curled his lips around Fuji's already perked nipple, flicking his tongue back and forth.
"You want to."
Atobe smirked at the use of his name. He removed the offending t-shirt and trailed ravenous kisses down Fuji's chest. He nipped, hard, near the belly button. Hard enough to draw blood.
Atobe hummed in satisfaction.
"Still a masochist, I see. A sadist outside the bedroom but a bitch in it."
"You're rock hard."
The dark haired boy had slipped a hand into Fuji's boxers, stroking the tensai's shaft teasingly.
Fuji arched his back in desperation.
Atobe slid the boxers off Fuji and maneuver them so that they were lying naked on the seat, with Atobe on top.
Atobe crushed Fuji's mouth beneath his, sweeping the tensai's tongue with his own. There was a brief struggle for dominance, which Fuji quickly lost. Atobe's desire was simply too intense.
Atobe had begun to grind his hips into Fuji's. Fuji let out spluttering little moans of pleasure.
"I don't have any lube," Atobe whispered teasingly, sucking on the delicate skin of Fuji's neck. Fuji bit back a scream.
The motion of the car was pushing the two men even closer together, the rocking of their hips made even more frantic.
"I don't care," Fuji groaned, at last giving up all pretense of resistance. Somewhere, in the back of his mind, he'd known this was going to happen. He'd wanted it to as wrong as it was.
The guilt at fucking his sister's husband would come later, as well as his fury at Atobe for using her as a bridge to him…but right now there was only desire.
"It's going to hurt, Fuji," Atobe mumbled with immense satisfaction, all the while pressing the tip of his solid length against Fuji's puckered entrance.
Atobe teased his cock up and down Fuji's smooth, round ass.
"What was that?" He panted, beads of sweat dripping down his chiseled chest.
"Ask properly, Fuji."
"Fuck me! Atobe…Atobe…nhhhhh!"
Fuji's begging was cut off by a scream of pleasure as Atobe thrust himself deep into Fuji's hole without any warning.
Atobe was right. It did hurt. The pain and the pleasure mingled to form an overwhelming sensation, sending Fuji's entire body into spasms.
Atobe fucked him hard and raw, without holding back. Fuji bucked his hips helplessly, moaning Atobe's name in a high, desperate voice.
"You're such a little slut, Fuji…" Atobe gasped, in a voice that let Fuji know he was close to release.
"No? Should I stop then?"
"No! No, Atobe-sama…don't…stop…fucking…your…slut…!"
Atobe gasped, mustering all of his strength and slamming his cock one final time into Fuji's entrance before shuddering and releasing collapsing onto Fuji.
Fuji screamed Atobe's name one more time as he released, spilling his seed all over the leather seat.
A few moments later, both men were fully clothed. Neither Atobe nor Fuji had a single hair out of place. Atobe polished off his martini; the only hint of his recent exertions was the slight flush on his cheeks.
Fuji was silent. The stinging pain in his posterior was going to be a reminder, for the next week or so, that he was despicable human being.
Finally, Atobe spoke.
"Why did you come back, Fuji?"
"I belong here. With Eiji and the others. With my sister. And…with my niece."
"Her name is Kaori. And your upcoming nephew is going to be called Hikaru."
Fuji smiled. "How old is she?"
"Three and a half. She's a beautiful little girl. But what would you expect, with such a father?"
Fuji snorted but his face quickly softened. "I can't wait to meet her. I came back to be with everyone. I've already wasted enough time and I just want to be…"
Fuji met Atobe's probing gaze.
"You're married. You're my brother in law."
"Is that a no?"
"I don't know."
There was a pause.
"Has he told you yet?"
Fuji didn't need to ask whom Atobe was talking about.
"And if he does? When he does?"
"I don't know, Atobe. He waited for me. All this time. Everyone else is married…having kids…but he…"
"Did you expect me to wait?"
"That's not what I meant. I just…"
"You can't love someone out of obligation, Fuji."
"I know that."
"Tezuka told me about the reunion on Friday. Shall I bring Yumiko and Kaori?"
"Yes," Fuji said, glad to be back on a neutral topic. "Please do."
"It'll be nice to see Kawamura outside of the office." Atobe mused absently, "Son of a bitch has made almost as much money as me."
"Atobe…keep your hands off me in front of Eiji. I mean it."
Atobe let out a low growl.
"You're mine, Fuji."
"I was yours, Atobe. Ten year ago. I need…I need a minute to think. This is all too much."
"Ore-sama will generously allow you one month to make a final decision. If you agree to be my mistress, I will be more than fair with you. I travel often for business and you would accompany me in the finest luxury. Besides, I've always wanted to fuck on my private jet."
Fuji twitched. "This is serious, Atobe. This is my family…our family…we're dealing with."
"I'm aware of that. I am selfish but not heartless. Yumiko will never know."
Fuji shook his head in confusion, raking a hand through his honey locks.
"I don't know. Atobe…I just can't think about this right now."
"You have a month, Fuji. That's about as long as I can stand not fucking you silly."
Fuji swallowed the rising lump of desire in his throat.
"Fine, Atobe. One month. I'll tell you then."
Eiji sat by the door all day. Fuji had promised he'd be back by that night. Eiji had tried to distract himself…hell, he'd even resorted to doing the paperwork he normally put off until the last possible minute.
Fuji. Fuji. Fuji.
Where is he?
It's nearly midnight…
The soft knock on the door broke Eiji out of his panicked musings. He leapt up and opened the door.
As promised, the tensai stood there, holding two suitcases. He looked tired but happy.
Eiji leapt on him without warning. Fuji stumbled a bit but his smile did not waver.
"See, Eiji? I told you I'd come home."