Test 10 – Captured in Glass

Ryuuzaki Sakuno was the pretty young nurse who manned the front desk of the institute. She was twenty years old and had a nice figure with the curves all in their correct spots. She had auburn hair that shown brilliantly under the treatment of the sun, always put up into two long braids, although for the life of the male visitors they could not figure out why 'that pretty young nurse won't put her hair down.' Perhaps that was simply gentle Sakuno's way of deterring any would-be suitors, since at the moment she had no need or desire for dating anyone.

Actually, that was a lie, to a certain extent.

She admired a certain someone, a cocky young man with almost cat-like amber eyes and perpetually messy black hair. Twenty-years old as well, Echizen Ryoma was a man who had just captured her attention from the minute he walked in through the institution's front door, held out his work badge and said calmly, a bit nonchalant and cold, 'I was told to meet a Tezuka Kunimitsu-san for an interview here. Do you know where his office is?'

Naturally, as a receptionist, Sakuno directed him in the direction of Tezuka's office. Again, naturally, as Sakuno usually was rather scatter-brained and had a habit of forgetting directions for a brief period of time, it wasn't before he had vanished behind the closing elevator doors when she realized that she had given him the directions to someone else's office. One can thus naturally imagine Sakuno's embarrassment the next time she met the young man. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on who looked at it and how one looked at it), he had simply waved it off. It seemed that he had made enough of an impression in the interview when he had actually made it to the office that he had actually managed to land a job under Tezuka and from that day on would be working as a member of the research facility.

Sakuno had congratulated him, although she had no idea what the research facility did or who exactly was in it. There had been talk about the research institutions lately entering the vast fields of genetics, where they actively tried to discover and understand everything there was to know about genes, the roles they played in day-to-day lives, hereditary diseases, and the like. It was fascinating when Sakuno thought about it, but all that data made her head spin. She was glad that she was simply the receptionist and so didn't have to deal with so much information.

The research facility of the institution spanned the whole of the third and fourth floors of the building, she knew that much. Sakuno had only been up there once, when she had needed to run a few papers over to Tezuka's office, the only room where anyone who was not a part of the research team was allowed to enter on the third floor. However, even though her trip and stay there had been brief, she had been struck by the atmosphere: silent, serious, apprehensive, perhaps even a bit morbid. The walls were bare; no pictures hung from the walls like in the hallways of the first and second floors, which offered color to the otherwise drab white halls. Only a few potted plants placed sporadically along the hallway offered color, or the occasional sign on a doorway, brightly colored due to Eiji's cheerful tastes, offered any color or form of life. Sakuno had dropped her papers off on Tezuka's desk, performed a hasty bow, and scuttled out, boarding the elevator and returning to the friendly lobby where she semi-reigned from her throne behind the front desk.

After that, she had never ventured on the third floor ever again, and Tezuka had never asked her to take any more papers up. Perhaps it was because she had been read like an open book and he had seen her obvious discomfort with the alien world that the third floor offered to her, or perhaps it was because he felt that she was incapable of doing even the simplest of tasks (certainly running papers from one office to another could be considered as a very simple task). Whatever the reason, she never ventured up there again, and was quite happy in doing so.

In fact, she had gotten quite used to her work life revolving around the front desk, so it was strange to have her grandmother Sumire one day ask her to go up to the third floor at the end of her shift and retrieving a videotape. Sakuno's first reaction was: 'But Obaa-sama, it's security's job to take charge of all video cameras and their tapes in the building!'

Ryuuzaki Sumire had chuckled, shaking her head slightly. 'The third floor and above is off limits for general security. A different kind of security protects those floors, and the security cameras link to a different network.'

Sakuno's next reaction went along the lines of, 'Oh. But what's that got to do with me, Obaa-san? Wouldn't their security still take care of it?'

"Ah… Sakuno, always the sensible person," her grandmother chuckled. "Sakuno, dear, don't tell me that you forgot that I'm one of the heads of security." Silence from Sakuno confirmed her suspicion, and the elder woman could not help but break into a smile on the other side of the phone line. Really, now, her granddaughter could be so adorable and not know a thing about it. If Sumire even tried to bring it up, the twenty-year old woman would place her hands on her budding hips, pursing her lush lips, complaining that her Obaa-san was treating her like a little kid. "As it is, I can't make it tonight to collect the videos; I have a very important meeting this evening that I can't afford to miss. However, those video tapes are long overdue to be checked and I would appreciate it very much if you could fetch them for me."

Sakuno could only sigh, shaking her head in slow disbelief at her grandmother's words. "Oh, Obaa-san, you work too hard," she chided gently. "I wish you'd stop going to such meetings and getting home so late. You know it's not good for your health." On the other end of the line, Sumire had the consciousness to actually look slightly remorseful, although when she repeated her request, her granddaughter agreed, promising that she'd get the tapes for her as promised. Thanking her and wishing her a good night, she hung up, walking out of the phone booth and getting into the waiting limousine, where she took a seat opposite of Sakaki. There were no words exchanged between the two, just a nod, and then the sleek car drew away from the curb. It wasn't long before it had merged with the traffic, and its red lights became one in a million, indecipherable.

Sakuno hung up the phone, sighing softly to herself as she contemplated her new task. In all honesty she didn't want to do it (it wasn't in her job description, anyway), but on the other hand she didn't want to disappoint her grandmother, who she held in high esteem. The older woman had single-handedly raised her from the tender age of three, after an unfortunate accident involving Sakuno's parents. Losing them at such a young age, Sakuno didn't remember much about them except from what her grandmother told her. As it was, Sumire was more of a mother than her real mother ever was, and Sakuno did not like disappointing others, especially if the other party happened to be the prominent mother figure in her life.

"Let's see… there are three security cameras on the third floor and three more on the fourth," Sakuno murmured, getting off of the elevator on the third floor. "Only one of them is disconnected with the central security that is for these two floors, and that's the one with the tape I'm supposed to get." She shivered slightly at the eerie silence before straightening up, a determined look in her sweet chocolate eyes. She had a job to do, and she was going to do it!

Granted, she was going to do it if she found that security camera. Glancing down at the security floor plan that she held in her hand, she began making her way down the hall to the camera that had been kindly marked in red for her. Finding it without much trouble (a rare occurrence, but she was not going to complain), she stared up at it, a sudden look of dismay crossing her face.

She couldn't reach it.

And to make matters worse, there wasn't a chair within sight that she could use to gain that extra three inches.

"Mou… why is life so unfair?" she whined, struggling on her tiptoes even though it was obvious that it was a lost cause.

"Miss, do you need any help?" a sweet voice asked and Sakuno whirled around, loosing her balance and toppling to the side. She was caught before her back could introduce itself with the floor, though, and the nurse found herself staring into sweet blue eyes. They closed into a smile as their owner helped her to stand properly on her two feet.

Sakuno stuttered out her thanks before gesturing to the camera. "I was asked to retrieve a tape from that camera, but I'm a bit short," she admitted bashfully. "Um… could you help me get it?"

"I didn't even know these cameras had tapes," was the reply before her savior reached up. Sakuno watched as he pondered for a moment before managing to eject said tape from the camera, taking it down and handing it to her. "Is this it?" he asked, and Sakuno accepted it with a bright smile.

"Yes! Thank you!" she said, before her eyes were diverted to something white and fluffy. Her savior had wings. Before he could even open his mouth to explain or give an excuse Sakuno had gone into a deep bow, face a bright crimson, stuttering, "Thank you so much, Angel-san! I promise I won't ever bother you with such a trivial matter ever again!" With that, she turned and fled to the elevator, dashing into the contraption as soon as the door opened.

Safely within the elevator, she breathed out a soft sigh. She had met an angel; a sweet, kind-hearted angel. And angels were pure creatures, who were supposedly free of morbid feelings such as sorrow.

But, if that was the case… why did that angel look so sad?


"I met a very curious girl today," Fuji said casually while he was sitting with Echizen on the rooftop. The young researcher was drinking a can of Ponta, the wind playing with his messy hair as he sat on the ground. Fuji stood, leaning against the chain fence, the feathers on the tips of his wings moving gently in that same breeze. It was dark; night had fallen and the institution was silent. "She called me an angel," he said softly.

Echizen's gaze slid over to the older man, one eyebrow raised ever-so-slightly. "Well, at first glance you do look like an angel of sort, Fuji-sempai," he said plainly. "After all, angels have white wings for purity." Draining the last of his Ponta, he stood up and threw the can away into the trash can set in the corner, before turning back to Fuji with his hands shoved into his pockets. "I doubt Fuji-sempai was never called an angel before," he drawled out, and Fuji couldn't help but chuckle lightly.

"You're right, Echizen. I really shouldn't be so surprised at the title," he admitted, tilting his head back until he could feel the cold metal against the back of his skull. Opening his eyes, he searched the night sky for stars, but to his dismay, there was nothing. It was all covered by clouds; even the moon's light was dimmed from behind its foggy curtain. "I guess I should be saying that I was simply surprised that she said it without any disgust in her voice."

"There are people who hold angels in high esteem," Echizen commented, and winced when Fuji moved and planted a hand on his head, ruffling his dark hair, although he didn't seem to mind the movement too much, seeing as he made no move to move away. "I'm going to assume that Fuji-sempai hasn't heard someone call him that like that in a while."

Fuji shrugged, removing his hand from the other's head. "Yes; it was kind of surprising." He placed a finger on his chin, looking thoughtful. "Now that I think about it, I think I've seen that girl before… oh, yes! She's the nurse at the reception desk!"

"Scatterbrained Ryuuzaki?" Echizen asked nonchalantly. "What was she doing up here?" Since Fuji wasn't allowed on any of the floors below the third floor, the only sensible thing to think was that the girl had come up from the lobby. Although why she would come up, he hadn't a clue. He could remember the last time that she had come up, and how terrified she had been after just glancing at Tezuka. And Tezuka hadn't even done anything except give her a nod and tell her to set the papers she held on the desk.

"She needed a videotape from one of the security cameras but couldn't reach it. I thought I'd help her out by getting it for her."

"Ryuuzaki isn't supposed to have anything to do with security and those cameras," Echizen muttered. "She's a receptionist whose job is to smile at anyone who comes into the building and point them in the right direction if they need her assistance, and hopefully not get them lost in the process."

Fuji nudged him playfully in the side with an elbow, looking far too mischievous to be up to any good. "You seem to be very knowledgeable in her position. Might it be that you have a crush on her? She is rather adorable; I should think that when she lets all that hair out of her braids she'll be a stunning young lady." The faintest splattering of red on Echizen's cheeks did not go unnoticed by Fuji's watchful gaze, and although the young man protested vehemently ('I only know that because she gave me the wrong directions the first time I walked into the institute! First impressions really count!') Fuji could tell that despite the cold and aloof front that he put up he was still very much aware of members of the other gender. A pity that he didn't show it, since he was quite good looking and Fuji felt that he could easily get his fair share of girls (and possibly more) if he actually tried.

"Maa… maybe you should ask her to dinner one day," Fuji offered cheerfully, and playfully dodged Echizen's half-hearted attempt to strangle him. "Generous men are well liked by the ladies," he continued, grinning from ear to ear. Toying with the younger man and watching his reactions was rather enjoyable; Fuji wondered how he had never discovered this earlier.

A sudden rumbling overhead caused Fuji to stop in his teasings and he looked up, brows furrowing together. Fuji dearly wished that it would stop raining already; he had had enough of the wet substance to last him awhile. When it rained, Fuji was strictly forbidden from going on the roof (Oishi feared that he'd get seriously ill and Eiji feared that Fuji would try to 'escape' again), and, no matter how he tried to look at it, staying within the institute was boring.

Very, very boring, even when he was allowed to beat Echizen at chess.

"Let's go, Fuji-sempai," Echizen said, opening the door and holding it open for him. Giving the sky one last look, Fuji padded through the open door, hearing it click gently behind him as Echizen shut it.

"This rain will probably end sometime before tomorrow morning," the two of them heard Inui say as they entered the cafeteria. "In fact, I suspect that there is a 72% chance that it will be finished by 3 in the morning."

Sitting next to Oishi, Eiji piped up, "I never knew Inui knew about meteorology, nya! As expected of Inui!" The standing Inui shifted slightly at the praise while Fuji and Echizen slid into chairs, integrating themselves into the idle small talk that was going on. Tezuka was nowhere to be seen.

"Where's Tezuka?" Fuji piped up curiously, and all turned to him. Oishi gave an apologetic shake of his head; he didn't know. The doctor hadn't seen Tezuka since breakfast, the other man claiming he had 'important matters' to attend to and then promptly vanished back into his room. This had puzzled Oishi, but he had simply written it off as Tezuka having one of his headaches again and finally deciding to get the rest that he deserved. Orders from the doctor were always important.

"You can go look for him; the last I saw him, he was in his room," Oishi offered, and Fuji gave a cheerful nod before getting up and trotting away. The young doctor's green eyes followed him until Eiji chirped something out that brought his attention back to the talk of the weather at the table.

Fuji left them talking, striding down the hallway before reaching Tezuka's closed door. Knocking once on it, a sharp rap of his knuckles, he opened it and poked his head into the room. There was Tezuka, sprawled out on his bed in the corner of the room, and Fuji couldn't help but smile widely at the sight. One of his hands was draped over his chest, loosely holding his glasses in them. His head lolled gently to one side, messy locks of his hair on his cheek and spread over the pillow. Even with the worm expression on his sleeping face, he still managed to effectively pull off the image of a dozing child.

Easing himself into the room, Fuji removed the glasses from the sleeping man and placed them on the nightstand where they wouldn't accidently be crushed ('accidents happen,' he remembered his mother being fond of saying) before sitting down on the edge of the bed, remaining quiet. Briefly, he wondered how long Tezuka had been napping in the quiet of his room. The bespectacled man didn't strike Fuji as the kind who liked to sleep more than the eight hours he did each night, and Fuji wondered what could have happened to make Tezuka feel the need to take a nap.

A little voice in his head refused to shut up in saying that he, Fuji, was the root of Tezuka's problems. Naturally, Fuji ignored it. What an absurd thought!

"Ne, Tezuka, you haven't been sleeping the whole day, have you?" he teased gently, and the other shifted. Fuji tilted his head gently to one side as the hazel eyes opened, blinking sleep away from them while their owner reoriented himself with his room. "Good morning!" Fuji chirped.

Tezuka gazed up at a fuzzy Fuji before groaning, pinching the bridge of his nose before moving his hand to massage his forehead tiredly. "Fuji," he greeted, pushing himself up into a sitting position. The fuzzy Fuji giggled, and he fumbled around for his glasses before feeling them being pressed lightly into his hand. Placing them on his nose, where they belonged, Tezuka's world instantly turned into the clear thing that it was, complete with a grinning Fuji. Instantly, alarm bells rang in Tezuka's head. When a person woke up, seeing a grinning person in front of them was generally not a good thing. He was reminded of a sleepover event that Eiji had described to him in vivid detail, which involved a prank that called into use massive amounts of toothpaste.

According to Eiji, the victim of the prank had been unable to get all of the toothpaste off of him until two days later. Suppressing a shudder, he subconsciously checked himself over, relieved that there was not a trace of toothpaste on any part of him.

"Did you need something?" Tezuka asked, muffling a yawn while Fuji made himself comfortable by taking up more space on the bed. Deciding that his current position wasn't good enough, Fuji snatched up Tezuka's comforter before he could even say a word, wrapping it around himself, wings and all. The satisfied smiled on his face reminded Tezuka of a cat allowed to nap in its favorite sunbeam.

Fuji burrowed into the comforter while Tezuka swung his legs over the edge of the bed. He didn't get up, though, and Fuji inched closer to him until he could rest his head on the strong shoulder. "Did you enjoy your nap?" he asked, pulling the warm covers more tightly against his body. A 'Hn,' from Tezuka was his answer, and Fuji stated offhandedly, "You don't seem like the kind to take naps, you know."


"Because you're always so serious and collected, so I expected that you were the kind of person who got everything done in a timely manner so that you were never tired and stressed out about approaching due dates with projects you haven't even started," Fuji replied, tilting his head so that he could stare up at Tezuka. He smiled impishly, adding, "But it's OK. I got to see a napping Tezuka today, and I probably won't be able to see it again for a long, long time." Tezuka frowned, but could not think of anything to say that could be as snappy as a comeback as he would have liked.

Fuji chuckled lightly at Tezuka's silence, finding it rather amusing. "Ne, Tezuka," he started, and when Tezuka made a vague gesture for him to continue, he asked hesitantly, "What do you think of me?"

"Of you?" Tezuka echoed, brows furrowing in confusion above his glasses. Fuji nodded, looking at him with the most pitiful puppy expressions he could possibly employ. Tezuka sighed, thinking carefully about how he should reply. Finally, he replied with a very intelligent: "Fuji is Fuji; how else am I supposed to think of him?"

A slightly disappointed look crossed Fuji's face. "Oh… so… nothing unique immediately pops into mind?" At Tezuka's bewildered expression Fuji drooped some more, before perking up, bright smile on his face. "Never mind, then! I was just curious!" he announced, while Tezuka just stared blankly at him. Leaping up, shaking free of the comforter, he skipped to the door, tossing out over his shoulder, "I'm going to see what everyone else is talking about; you should come, too!" And then he was gone, shutting the door behind him, leaving Tezuka to puzzle over Fuji's odd behavior.

On the other side of the door, Fuji heaved a soft sigh, sinking to the floor and drawing his knees to his chest. Why couldn't Tezuka answer him with something that was other than, 'Fuji is Fuji,' the phrase that he had heard nearly all his life? Couldn't he think of something else? Surely Fuji must be something else other than just… Fuji.

A few adjectives would have been nice, he thought miserably to himself. At least their job is to describe things. Names just labeled things. The door behind him opened, and he didn't look up, although he felt the hand that was placed on his shoulder, heard the soft, "Fuji?" that was asked.

Fuji said nothing, simply willing himself to sort of collapse sideways, until he could lean into Tezuka's chest. There was a soft, 'Hm,' from Tezuka as the man shifted to give Fuji a better pillow.

"I'll think of something," Tezuka promised him, and pressed against his chest, Fuji smiled.


The rain ended sometime in the middle of the night, and when Fuji dragged himself out of bed and opened the shades of his window to peer outside, the lawn was fairly sparkling. The sunlight hit the water droplets collected on the grass and turned the entire lawn into a sparkling rainbow.

Fuji was captivated; it was absolutely gorgeous.

He was not the only one who thought so. At breakfast, Eiji simply would not stop raving about how pretty the grass looked outside, and said, on more than one occasion, how he wished that he was thirteen again so that he could frolic outside in the wet grass without people giving him odd looks. The general public never could seem to grasp the idea that a twenty-three-year old could still play around like a child. After these statements, he'd always pout and hunch over his plate, looking sulky until something or another caught his attention. Needless to say, the meal was a cheery event and Eiji looked mock-disappointed enough to project Fuji's feelings as well. If Fuji was de-winged and thirteen, he would have happily joined Eiji in frolicking. Fuji had always retained the fantasy of dancing on a rainbow, although it was a very small one.

A door slammed somewhere down the hall, and all chatter ceased. Everyone glanced curiously at the cafeteria entrance; no one came up on the third floor, those who did were all in the cafeteria at the moment, and no one in their right minds would slam a door with Tezuka on that same floor for fear of running a hundred laps around the institute. Thus, all were puzzled at the slamming door, and that puzzlement only further rose when they heard a voice, distinctly female, cry out:

"But Obaa-san! You're not serious, are you?"

Tezuka rose from his seat, back tensed and expression more than dark. Inui and Oishi hastily followed suit, murmuring quick excuses before hurrying in brisk steps towards the open door. All three knew that only one person would so freely march up to their floor, and the panicking voice that kept pleading, "Obaa-san!" did nothing to soothe their feelings of unease.

Reaching the door, Tezuka was met with a rather stern old lady who took no time at all in giving him a hard look and brushing past him, as if he was nothing. "You are far behind schedule, Tezuka," she said, and Tezuka frowned, but said nothing. Sakuno hurried over to him and mumbled apology after apology, looking both intimidated and anxious at the same time. The elder Ryuuzaki swept her gaze quickly over the area, settling on Fuji. The steely gaze made the winged man flinch, although he met her gaze with his own smiling one.

"We've decided to carry on with our plans," she said sharply, and Oishi, from his spot next to Tezuka, took in a sharp breath. "We'll be beginning right away. Fuji-san, please, despite the early hour would you mind if we run a series of quick tests?" The false sweetness covering the blatant lie made Tezuka wish that he had the power to kick her out of the room, but as he couldn't do that, he simply tried to voice an objection.

But he was not even granted the liberty of objecting, as a strong voice commanded from behind him, "Leave it, Tezuka. You knew this was to happen, yet you purposefully avoided it. You've forgotten who you really are, Tezuka." Tezuka's hazel eyes narrowed behind their glasses as he turned to face Sakaki, waging an inner war with himself about whether or not he should snap out, which he was oh-so-tempted to do. Fuji's hand suddenly landed on his shoulder, and Tezuka found himself staring into sweet blue eyes.

"It's just a test, Tezuka," he said sweetly, and Tezuka was sorely tempted to tell Fuji to run thirty-some laps for being naïve. "I do them all the time, so this time shouldn't be any different, right?" Sighing, Tezuka could only trail reluctantly behind with the rest of his team and Sakuno as the elder Ryuuzaki and Sakaki led Fuji down the hall. Some inner voice was telling him that he should stop Fuji, but he had been trained from a very young age to respect his elders and, besides, he had no solid evidence to prove that something could happen other than a rather strong gut instinct.

And though Tezuka's rather strong gut instincts were usually right, he squashed it as he considered that he was a scientist, and scientists reached conclusions based on solid facts, not gut instincts.

"In here, Fuji-san," Ryuuzaki Sumire said, unlocking the one door that Tezuka wished would never be opened ever again. "I'm afraid you've never been in a test run on this machine, but it will be over soon."

Lies, Tezuka wanted to grumble out. It was all lies, his instincts echoed.

She opened the side door of the machine, motioning for Fuji to go in. Fuji tipped his head curiously to one side, giving the machine a guarded look before shrugging, as if deciding that this one looked no different from all the other appliances he had seen previously, and trotted over. "Will I fit?" he asked, judging the small area that was to be allotted him and then twisting his head to look over his shoulder, judging his wingspan. Turning back to the door, he squeezed himself inside, and with a little help got everything in. The compartment actually had a bit more room than he had previously thought, and he could stretch out his wings a little.

"Just imagine like you're outside, on a normal day," Ryuuzaki prompted. "Try to stay relaxed and keep your breathing even." Fuji nodded to show that he understood and the door was shut, leaving him to wonder just what exactly this test was. Through the glass, he saw her walk over to Tezuka, motioning for him to join her at the control panel. Tezuka hesitated, and although Fuji could not hear the conversation that passed between the two, it was obvious that Tezuka was not keen on performing the test. Finally, though, he was persuaded, although most unwillingly, to the panel.

Feeling as though his hand was not his own, the bespectacled man placed it on the lever, and giving the curious Fuji within his little compartment one last glance, yanked it down. "I'll get him out," he hissed out.

Sakaki spared him the smallest of glances. "When we're finished you can do whatever you want with him," he drawled out, and pressed a button. The machine kicked to life almost immediately, and Fuji's head snapped to the side as he inched towards the front of the compartment. Little tubes and valves opened up, pumping liquid into the compartment, and Fuji, with no where to go, could only watch with his hands plastered to the glass as the wet substance lapped at his feet, climbing up.

He didn't like this test; really, he didn't. Being in a closed container with liquid pouring in did not seem like a very safe environment.

"Tezuka?" he asked out, his voice abnormally tiny and made smaller with the rushing of the liquid all around him, echoing eerily around in the small compartment. Blue eyes were wide open with the beginnings of terror swimming in their deep depths as he looked to the man. To make matters worse, Tezuka turned away from him, eyes shadowed so he could not see them or the expression that they held. Only Inui would look directly at him, and even then, Fuji got the chilling feeling that he was looking straight through him, and not at him.

Breathe normally, Fuji Syusuke, he instructed himself, gaze travelling from Tezuka to Inui and then back to Tezuka. Remember, panicking helps no one. This was a test; the lady had told him so. A test, a test, a test… he repeated this mantra to himself over and over again, clinging as best he could to the glass. His feathers were soggy and they weighed down his wings, bearing down on his back as he rested his forehead on the glass, willing himself to calm down, to quell the pounding of his heart against his ribs.

Sakuno started to cry when the liquid fully covered him, going well over his head before finally it was allowed to stop coming in, whimpering, "Angel-san…" before she was led out by Kaidoh and Taka. Inside the small compartment, hands pressed against the glass and face peering sadly out, Fuji was suspended, his small supply of oxygen quickly running out, frozen in the clear liquid that looked the same as the glass, until it looked like he had been captured like an insect in amber.

He was peering sadly out, all of the hurt and the betrayal right out there on his face as he looked at Tezuka, as if to ask him, 'why?' Inui and Oishi grabbed Tezuka's clenched hands to keep him in one spot, painfully aware of the sharp eyes of Sumire and Sakaki that were watching them and their every move. For several moments no one spoke, and it was eerily silent until the soft clicking of shoes against the floor was heard. Pausing at the door, Sakaki said, "We're done with him; you may do what you like."

Here, Momo interjected with a, "But, sir! You didn't even run any tests on him! It's unfair to nearly drown him without even conducting a test."

Sakaki gave the young man an unimpressed look. "I'm afraid you're badly mistaken," he said slowly. "This was the test; for the social sciences are also a kind of science." Turning to Tezuka, a dry smile flitted across his face. "We look forward to seeing how you handle this," he added, before marching out the door with Sumire close behind him. Just before the door closed, Tezuka could hear the man saying, like it was an afterthought, "It's about time you've decided what he is to you and who you are, don't you think?" The door shut, leaving a more-than-furious Tezuka behind.

An anxious Oishi placed his hand on Tezuka's elbow while Inui redirected his attention to the compartment where Fuji was. Tezuka's head snapped to look where Inui was gesturing wildly, eyes widening behind the delicate frames of his glasses. Dark indigo eyes stared back at him, the scar on one cheek only serving to bring them out even more. They held Tezuka in place, refusing to let him go, and then, a wickedly cruel smile flitted across the darker Fuji's face, which none of them had seen in quite some time.

Slowly, deliberately moving his mouth to draw out every syllable, the other Fuji mouthed out against the glass: 'You betrayed him. He trusted you, and you hurt him.'

And Tezuka could say nothing, because all of it was true.

A/N: I'm sorry... this turned out worse than I wanted it. :( And I'm also very, very sorry for the long wait (so, naturally, I flood you with mass amounts of text)

I'm thinking I'm going to be wrapping this up in the next two-ish chapters. Until then, leave a review and some constructive critism? Or perhaps poke me with a spoon to make me write faster? *hands over spoon*