Whew, another update. I've been wanting to write Perfect Pair again, and thought it a matter of time to finally update this story. This is the third part of Tezuka and Fuji's history and don't worry, the fourth and the last part of it would be next chapter, as well as the story proper.
Warnings and Disclaimers: Same as the first chapter.
He sat down on the bed the moment he saw the first rays of the incoming dawn. Moving carefully, he slowly flung the sheets away from him and he stood up, already unbuttoning the front of his sleepwear, still feeling awake, despite the fact that he laid down on a warm, comfortable bed for almost three hours. He stepped into the walk-in closet and took out a grey sweatshirt and some black jogging pants, intending to take his usual morning jog. With his fully loaded schedule, he could barely find time to relax, let alone play some tennis. Although, with having Atobe for a workmate (he refused to entertain the fact that the other male was his employer, therefore technically his superior), he was still in relatively good shape, given that the former heir would frequently challenge him for a match every now and then.
She was still asleep when he came back into the bedroom, and Tezuka was internally grateful for that. He didn't mean to sound cruel, but she just wasn't the person he wanted to see the moment he woke up for another day. Taking his wallet and phone from the bedside table, he exited the room and eventually the house, closing the front door quietly behind him.
The biting cold pierced his skin. It didn't really surprise him; it was early morning after all. He started to build up his usual rhythm, and with each exhale of the cool, crisp air, he found himself feeling invigorated. He increased his pace, letting the memories from his middle school days take over. He missed this feeling. With a wry smile he remembered the training, Kantou, Germany, the Nationals, his team, his friends, Fuji…
He gave a start when he realized what date it was today.
… Has it been nine years already? He stopped by a bench and sat down, talking out his phone along the way.
He stared at the illuminated screen. He can't believe it. How could he have forgotten this day? Today was the happiest and the most memorable moment of his life.
Today was the day he and Fuji became lovers.
He dialed Fuji's cellphone, having memorized the numbers by heart, stopping just before he hit the call button. Thinking deeply, Tezuka sighed, before erasing the number and flipping his phone shut.
He shouldn't. It was an ungodly time to be woken up, and while Fuji was always accommodating when it came to him, he should let the other male rest, since… well, he was fairly sure that Fuji hasn't fully recovered from their… tryst last night.
He pocketed his phone and looked around. His eyes alighted when he saw a flower shop, just starting to open for the day.
He gave a small smile as an idea started to form in his mind.
There was a better way to tell, after all.
The first thing that Tezuka did on the first week he came back to Japan was to go to a bar and get himself drunk.
Don't get him wrong. Usually he would never do anything this irresponsible, but the situation at the moment called for it. Pushing the door open, he was met with the smoky atmosphere of the tavern, and he immediately made for the bar, ordering a bottle of their strongest whiskey before sitting down, mentally preparing himself to become thoroughly smashed. He definitely can't hold a candle to Fuji's alcohol tolerance. In fact, he can't finish a glass of wine without feeling slightly inebriated. He knew that he was going to hate himself in the morning after this, but he wanted to drown his sorrows out that night, and what could be better than to forget all of them with the right amount of alcoholic beverages?
There were a lot of healthier ways to release his accumulated stress, but he wanted to be rebellious, just this once.
Once, two, three. He was just in his fourth shot but his mind was starting to feel hazy, and yet he continued, relentless in gulping every single drop of the liquid fire that scorched a burning path down his throat, wanting to make the words in his memory disappear.
'It's time that you quit tennis and focus on securing your future.'
… What future? He went to Germany precisely because of his future. He didn't understand why his parents -his father- would suddenly tell him to quit on his future when he was definitely supportive of it right from the start. What, did his father think that tennis was a game, a sport, a damned hobby?
'I allowed you to play tennis just so you could occupy your spare time. I don't want you growing to be a delinquent, after all. I would think that you would grow out of it eventually.'
Tennis was his whole life. Didn't his father understand that? Tennis was the reason why he was excelling in his classes. It was the reason he found the happiness he had never experienced before. Tennis led him to his team, his friends, his feeling of utter completion and…!
Tennis was the bridge that connected him and the person he had come to love more than his own life.
And his father wanted him to throw all of it away for the sake of his future.
A future that was apparently subject to his father's approval.
He didn't like feeling like this. Of course, being the man who raised him, his father had some control over his life. But he was grown up, and he definitely had a mind of his own! While he could, he realized with an almost physical pain, quit tennis, though it would be a very hard process, he would draw the line when his father said the next few words.
'Kunimitsu, next week you will attend a marriage interview. Stay presentable and I will tell you the details over the next few days. Understood?'
He will accept the domination of his regular life, but he would definitely not allow anyone to dictate his own heart. He would marry eventually, but he already chose the person who would be his spouse, and there was no way in hell he would marry some girl who he doesn't even love.
But he was brought up in a strict, highly conservative manner, and it was all he could do to not to greet his teeth as he acknowledged his father's wishes. Killing another shot he reached for the half-emptied bottle, only for it to be pulled away from his weakened grasp.
"Stop it, Tezuka."
He looked up blearily. The image of Atobe Keigo swam before his eyes and he struggled to sit up properly, leaning back on his chair to stare at his ex-rival with hazy eyes.
"Atobe." He didn't realize that his voice was starting to slur. "What are you doing here?"
"For god's sake Tezuka, pull yourself together. You're going to regret it in the morning." He found himself being pulled to his feet and he staggered pitifully, slumping against the bar.
"Leave me alone, Atobe." He groaned. He definitely didn't want someone ruining his night right now. "Let me finish my drink in peace."
Atobe made a sound of disgust and threw some bills on the bar, dragging the clearly drunk Tezuka with him. "Go back to being an ice queen. It suits you better than being this insensible drunkard."
Tezuka snorted loudly. "Aren't you talking about yourself?"
"Good to know that you still have your biting sarcasm, Tezuka." Atobe deadpanned with a roll of his eyes. They went to the parking lot, where a long, sleek black limousine was parked. Opening the door to the passenger seat, he shoved Tezuka inside before coming in himself, snapping some directions at the driver before turning back to the ex-Seigaku captain.
"Honestly, the things I do for you…" The ex-Hyotei captain grumbled. "Be grateful that Ore-sama is gracious enough to look for you and drive you back to your house. Because of you, Ore-sama has to make his driver work overtime and make him drop me in this filthy place."
Tezuka slumped back in his seat, silent as the diva drove him home. Different colors and light passed by his side of the window, and he looked at it blankly, his thoughts and the alcohol mixing in his head. He didn't want to go back to his own house. It was now, for him, a wretched place, intent of destroying his entire life. He wanted to be free. He just wanted a place where he could be himself, where he could think without any worries, where he could smell the scent of vanilla and hydrangeas that always calmed him…
He wanted to see Fuji.
He opened his mouth, but his throat was dry, and he couldn't form any articulate words to speak out loud. He could only prepare himself for the inevitable, and was startled when the car stopped and he was pulled out of it.
"Where… are we?"
"Somewhere we could finally shake some sense into you." Atobe snapped, holding Tezuka's wrist with a tight grip. Tezuka stumbled on, not recognizing where he was right now… though that might be due to the alcohol in his blood. As he was dragged along a flight of stairs, he couldn't help but feel that, somehow, he knew the place where he was being dragged to. Atobe wasted no time in arriving in front of a door and rapping sharply on it.
"Get out here!" The diva's voice was irate, his patience quickly evaporating. "Fuji!"
Fuji…? Tezuka looked up, only to see the petite brunet on the other side of the door, looking ethereally beautiful even in a simple t-shirt and sweatpants, the loose fit seeming making his figure look even more elfin. Atobe noted the suitcases still unpacked at the door, and could only conclude that Fuji has arrived from his flight from Germany not too long ago.
"What's wrong, Atobe?" The prodigy smiled at him, only to blink in surprise as Atobe almost bodily thrown Tezuka in his arms.
"Take care of him." Atobe's voice was clipped. "You were the one who influenced him, so take responsibility for it. I'll take care of his family."
"Tezuka…?" Fuji looked questioningly at Atobe about his semi-conscious lover, who he was now half-carrying. Tezuka was extremely light for his age, and the weight didn't bother Fuji much. What did bother Fuji was that Tezuka smelled of alcohol, and he gave Atobe a look, which plainly told him that if Atobe was the reason for all this, then Fuji was going to skin him alive slowly and painfully.
Atobe sighed, massaging his temples. "Don't look at me that way, Fuji. It was of Tezuka's own volition. He wanted to get drunk. He told me so himself."
Fuji's voice stayed light as he answered. "You and I know perfectly well that Tezuka doesn't drink."
"Then ask him yourself." Atobe said haughtily. "He isn't too far off, so Ore-sama can assume that Tezuka still has some brain cells left to form a coherent thought." And with that, the diva said his goodbyes and left, leaving Fuji standing on his doorstep. With one hand he managed to close his front door, half-carrying, half-dragging Tezuka inside his apartment. He was glad to be finally independent, though his mother protested at first, because it would be quite a problem if Atobe would suddenly barge in at his family home and demand to see him in the middle of the night. And it was easier to keep their relationship secret, not that they were trying for it to be.
"What are you thinking, Kunimitsu…?" Fuji muttered, managing to somewhat enter their bedroom and place Tezuka carefully on it, making sure that the bespectacled man was comfortable. Slowly he took off the outer coat, folding it and placing it carefully at his side. Fuji loosened the tight button on the collar, unbuttoning the first few buttons of his dress shirt. Next came off the shoes and socks, and Fuji made sure to take off Tezuka's spectacles and placing them on the bedside table before standing up, taking the clothes away to be put in the laundry.
He came back, sitting beside Tezuka's side, a hand placed on a reddened cheek. "Kunimitsu…?"
There was a flurry of movement, and Fuji found himself lying down, his back against the soft cover of his sheets, his wrists pulled up and held tightly as Tezuka hovered above him, with startled blue eyes meeting with brown eyes shining with want.
Fuji can taste the tequila on his tongue. So Atobe had been right, Tezuka had been drinking. He kissed back feverishly, the alcohol making Tezuka taste better than he had imagined. The hold on his wrists loosened, and one entangled itself to his hair, one lightly tracing his cheek as their bodies fitted with each other almost unconsciously, as if already anticipating what would happen afterwards. But before he could lose himself again, as was always the case, he pulled away, his hand on Tezuka's chest, feeling breathless.
"Why?" Questioningly he stared at his lover's face, which didn't display any sign of drunkenness. He knew that Tezuka wouldn't drink if he could help it, with his incredibly low alcohol tolerance. But right now, he seemed sharper than ever, his eyes perfectly clear, twin chocolate orbs that now seemed to penetrate into his very soul.
Tezuka's answer was simple.
"I need you."
And nothing more was said, as Fuji held Tezuka close, tears stinging in his eyes as he let Tezuka have his way with him, and yet he found that he couldn't resist.
Beautiful, intelligent, wealthy.
She was the perfect trophy wife, and he knew it. Not that it made him happier learning about that fact.
He was currently seated at a posh restaurant in downtown Tokyo that had a very high profile and quite select clientele. He was dressed in his best smart casual clothes (something Fuji bought and picked out for him, though he knew that his lover was seriously tempted to dress him in the most hideous and atrocious clothes that he could find), currently on his first marriage interview. Naturally, Fuji knew all about it.
"So are you going, Kunimitsu?"
He hadn't needed to answer then, because he knew that Fuji understood. As deep as their feelings for each other were, their relationship was still looked down and was considered a taboo. And Tezuka knew that Fuji knew that this day was bound to come eventually. Even if they both tried to escape from it, they also knew that they wouldn't last together if Tezuka would suddenly elope with Fuji. Problems would start, and they would start hating and blaming each other for what happened. So this was, by far, the only compromise Tezuka was able to offer. He realized that he was looking at their relationship in a rational, logical way, and outright hated it.
"Nice to meet you. I am Furuya Sachiko." The girl in front of him bowed slightly and he also did likewise, introducing himself with a neutral, calm tone that he had perfected over the years. "Tezuka Kunimitsu. Likewise." He didn't feel anything for this girl, not even guilt, because he would never be ashamed of his love for Fuji, and would rather die than denounce it. Beside him, their respective parents beamed, their mothers gushing on how perfect they looked together. He accepted this with little comment, trying to put much space (literally and figuratively) between him and his future wife as much as possible, so she would realize that he wasn't happy with this arrangement, and would refrain from developing feelings for him in the long run. The engagement was already troublesome enough, having a girl pinning after him would be worse.
I wish Shuusuke was with me, he thought for the nth time that he was seated there.
"Fuji-san, this way!" The girl – no, his fiancé, his mind quickly corrected, dragged his lover to another stall and he found himself wondering, again, how this situation happened in the first place. He hadn't expected for the both of them to befriend each other so quickly, disregarding the fact that Fuji had warmed up to her so quickly that it made him suspicious. When he had introduced his fiancé to his lover, using the guise of a 'very dear and close friend', he had expected Fuji to be at least a bit cold, or even hostile towards her. But when he found that they had, indeed, gotten along well, he pulled his lover aside, and amidst numerous breathless kisses, asked how that came to be. But the other simply stayed silent, with a secretive twinkle in his beautiful eyes, and simply assured his bespectacled lover that he was befriending her out of the goodness of his own heart, and left it at that.
"I'm sorry if I'm intruding on your date with Tezuka," He heard Fuji say when he was close enough to hear. Hearing his last name from the brunet's lips made him feel a bit disgruntled. They haven't been in the last name basis for years, even when they have minor disagreements it was always the first name they used. Hearing it again just sounds so foreign, and he was sure that the petite brunet wanted him to hear that loud and clear simply for the reason of amusement. "No, I should be the one apologizing, Fuji-san. I dragged you with us, after all." His fiancé apologized with the proper apologetic look, as was expected of her. They were finally close enough for him to see them clearly, and his fiancé took her place beside his right, while Fuji placed himself on his left.
"Sorry to bother you about this, Fuji." He said quietly, keeping up with their small charade. "You didn't have to come."
Which was a total lie, and Fuji knew it perfectly. "Oh, it's quite all right. I don't have anything planned today, really." Just checking out his possible competition and making sure that she gets her paws off his man, but Tezuka didn't need to know about that. "Besides, Sachiko-san is a very charming lady."
The girl flushed darkly at Fuji's compliment. "Thank you Fuji-san."
Tezuka grunted, not particularly pleased that his lover was complimenting his fiancé, but still kept silent, even as his lover and his fiancé spend the day together even though it's supposed to be their date. A few hours later he found himself walking towards Fuji's apartment, having escorted his fiancé to her own home, with the petite brunet by his side, their fingers intertwined with each other. No sooner when they had closed the doors, their lips and hands were on each other, Fuji's sapphire blue eyes raging with untamed jealousy.
"I don't like it, Kunimitsu," He murmured against the taller man's lips. "I don't like the fact that you're going to marry her… I don't want it…"
Tezuka made an affirmative sound at the back of his throat as they both stumbled around the apartment, managing to land on the couch, clothes ruffled and feeling slightly breathless. Fuji leaned over his bespectacled partner, the silver ring dangling in between them, the warm metal almost touching Tezuka's chest.
They paused to catch their breath, the silence stretching throughout the room, their gazes searching each other as they communicated with words that were left unsaid. Both told of sadness, longing and restraint, on how both of them loved each other so much that it almost physically hurt, and the lies that they both had to live out to please the society they lived in. Fuji slowly reached up to touch Tezuka's face, feather light, his bright blue eyes memorizing each line, each contour of the handsome face, finally tracing a pair of parted, pink lips as his face spoke of his innermost desires.
We can't live like this.
Tezuka remained still, letting the willowy brunet touch him, completely silent, his intense brown eyed gaze answering Fuji's unspoken statement.
Then what do you want me to do?
Fuji closed his eyes, inhaling deeply, before opening them again, his hand leaving their spot on Tezuka's cheek before going up to touch the back of his neck, gently unclasping the lock of the silver chain that held the ring, letting gravity work its laws, the silver necklace landing on a clothed chest with a small clink. Brown eyes slowly filled with comprehension, then with painful understanding.
Is this your answer, Shuusuke?
Sapphire eyes, though clouded with hurt, remained firm.
It is for the best.
The honey-haired brunet pulled back, letting the other male sit up straight. The necklace slipped from Tezuka's chest to his stomach, where he gently picked it up and fisted it tightly. Both of them stood up, slowly, almost not moving in their reluctance to be separated from each other. After a long time, it seemed to both of them; they were finally holding each other close, lips sharing one final kiss, passionate but lingering, as Tezuka finally whispered the dreaded words.
"…Auf Wiedersehen, meine einzige Leibe."
Arms slackened, feet started moving away. Fuji kept himself still as Tezuka finally turned, not looking back as fingers tried to reach out to him, stopping just before they touched Tezuka's shirt, Fuji's soul crying out in anguish and despair, knees sinking slowly to the floor as tears flooded the reddened cheeks as the door slammed soundly shut.
Goodbye, my only love.
... Yeah. I've been taking German classes, and I can't resisit putting some here, but since Tezuka can speak German, I said, why not, and added it. Adds up the melodrama. *laughs*
Last Part of their history is the next chapter.
Reviews and comments much welcomed, thanked and appreciated.