Title: Three Hundred and Sixty Six Times I Love You
Rating:
PG-15 for mentions of that.
Pairing:
ZukaFuji
Genre:
Angst with a happy ending
Summary:
AU"Don't forget, Tezuka, that no matter how far away you are, my heart shall follow you forever." ZukaFuji
Disclaimer:
If only I owned them… I would get them married.
Warning:
Un-beta-ed.

A/N: MY EXAMS ARE OVER! My beta is working on Magical Buchou, for those who are waiting. ^^

This one-shot was inspired by x. lithium's challenge about ZukaFuji and a lamppost and by an urban legend my father told me. I'm not sure where first started the challenge, but after reading some response fics, I decided to write my own version of it. If you are reading this, x. lithium, I hope you enjoy it!


~Three Hundred and Sixty Six Times I Love You~
My heart shall follow you, wherever you are, for all eternity.

The train gave a loud shriek, indicating its immediate departure. The doors closed, trapping forever those inside the machine's body, separating them from their loved ones, whose tears silently rolled down their cheeks to splatter in a thousand pieces as they reached the cold platform. The safety guards blew on their whistles, indicating that the railroad was clear for the train's long voyage. Soon, the machine spit out thick clouds of smoke and its wheels began to shuffle forward. The weeps became louder, now that there was nothing more that could stop the inevitable partings. Hearts sank, hearts kept hoping, hearts broke. And before anyone could blink, the train became nothing more than a small dot reaching out for the setting sun, far, far away, unreachable, unchangeable.

Closing his eyes painfully to erase the image of his love plaguing his mind, the bespectacled boy began recalling those joyous times they spent together. He remembered how they desperately clung to each other just the night before, lips locked, limbs mingled and for that fleeting moment time seemed to slow to a stop. For that heated night where passion drained away their common sense, that serene and silent night before the inevitable separation, that small moment of calm before the storm, he would do his best to keep his part of the promise. He would return to that person he cherished so deeply, and together, they would build their future.

Don't forget, Tezuka, that no matter how far you are, my heart shall follow you forever.

His voice echoed through his ears, draining out the thick tension that reigned in the train.

Everything would be alright. With a second heart to support him, there was no way he wouldn't be able to return alive.

~oO~Oo~oO~Oo~

The rustle of the wind. A small shiver. He waited, standing under that oil lamppost, for his other half to return. His heart began beating, irrationally, because he knew there was no way the one he longed for would be there, but he couldn't stop himself from hoping, that this train would be the one that brought his happiness back to him. Never would he have anticipated that living without his heart, giving his heart to another whose body only served to protect their country, would leave him so empty. And it was just yesterday that they had exchanged farewell wishes. The wind blew, and he shivered again, his empty cerulean eyes searching, watching painfully as one after another families reunited, while others like himself were left a little more broken than before.

As the day ended, and the last arrival train departed once more, the lithe boy let out a shaky sigh, and before leaving, carved with a sharp stone a small message onto that lamppost he had leaned on for the entire day.

I'll come back tomorrow.

~oO~Oo~oO~Oo~

A day drifted by, and he found himself once more standing alone under that special lamppost that had first brought them together, as they shared a sweet kiss and exchanged longing words and small nothings. It was also that same lamppost that had witnessed their partings, their grief, their pain and suffering. And he dearly hoped that someday, somehow, it would be under that lamppost that they would reunite again, and share eternity together, bathed in love and passion.

He sighed, as the flowers gradually died, as the trees closed their eyes, as leaves that lost their cheerful green pigment danced their way to the cold soil. Soon, snow had covered the land with a fresh, white coat, and he recalled how warm their hands had felt, securely latched together, back when they still could stand alongside each other. As he thought so, he watched wistfully, painfully, as the last train of the day drifted by with no signs of his soul mate's arrival.

He brought his frozen hands to his lips, blowing on them to heat them up, as he grabbed that sharp stone and carved on that lamppost again, under his last message, another piece of his hope.

I'll come back tomorrow.

~oO~Oo~oO~Oo~

Little by little, days became weeks. Weeks became months. And months turned to years. As time continued to mock them, as months swiftly flew by one after another, that special lamppost was now covered with carvings, so much it could no longer make place for any other message to be left. The radio finally announced, on day X, that the war was over, and that those who survived were to return within the year. He no longer knew, as his lifeless body wandered once more to their special place, if he should be happy or not. He stood, alone if not for his suitcase and extra luggage, and with the last of his hope. He scanned the crowd for his other half, desperately.

As the last train of the day arrived, as once more he sadly watched happy families hugging each other and crying tears of joy as they reunited, he could no longer stand the loneliness he felt, and quickly boarded the train, his suitcase towing behind him. He did not notice in his hurry a tall figure that descended from that same train, a few doors from where he was. He let himself fall, lifeless and drained, on a vacant seat next to the window. He stared longingly at that lonely lamppost, that special place where he had left for his love, all his hope, all his patience.

His cerulean eyes widened as a figure, whose left arm was bandaged, approached that special place, deposed his suitcase and read, hazel eyes clouded with longing and pain, all his love, his hope and patience carved into words on that lamppost.

The guards blew on their whistle, and before he could react, the doors to the train had closed, trapping him inside and once more separating him from his love. The bespectacled boy, hearing the sharp sound that indicated the departure of the train, turned to stare at the shuffling engine.

Their eyes met.

In a moment of panic and recognition, the tall youth ran, desperately, towards the metal machine, his eyes never leaving those of his love. He screamed the other's name with all his might, hoping it would reach the other's ear, but his rich voice was silenced as the train shrieked and darted forward. The last thing he saw was how the other's tears ran down his cheeks, as they waved once more their goodbye. This time though, he was devastated, for there was no promise, no guarantee that they would meet again.

Don't forget, Tezuka, that no matter how far you are, my heart shall follow you forever.

His voice once more echoed through the silent night, as the train disappeared in the darkness.

The bespectacled boy clutched his heart with his right hand, regretting that he had not been able to return Fuji's heart that had stayed with him. He bit his lips, hard, as he tried to hold back his tears. They had missed each other by a fraction. He grieved and drowned himself in all the possibilities, in the 'if only'-s.

Come here…

Hazel eyes widening as Fuji's voice once more echoed through his heart —or perhaps it was in Fuji's heart, that had stayed with him— he searched for the source of the mellifluous melody. His eyes landed on that lamppost, and once more, he walked towards their special place, where they had first confessed their love. He closed his eyes, no longer able to hold his tears, as he read every single message Fuji had carved while waiting for his return, until there was no longer vacant space for more.

I'll come back tomorrow. Carved exactly three hundred sixty six times on that lamppost.

And at the base, on the snow, Fuji had written, just a few moments ago, Goodbye.

It was one cold and lonely night on the twenty eighth of February.

~oO~Oo~oO~Oo~

He hopped down the train, smelling delightfully the familiar aroma of his native country. One more year had passed since his leaving, and despite the rumbling pain that nestled deep in his stomach, for his heart was not with him, he had managed to move on. He no longer grieved the past; his tears were no longer shed from being far from that special someone. But he did not forget, he would never forget. All those delightful times they had spent together, all the merriment and teasing and loving. Those were forever carved in his memory.

Just as his whole being, his soul, completely belonged to that one person.

His heart did not sink, even though that small pain that had stayed squeezed his stomach painfully, when he noticed that the carvings he had done on the lamppost were washed away with a fresh layer of paint. He lowered his eyes, as the chilly wind blew, and he thought he could almost feel Tezuka's arms snake around his waist in a warm embrace. He leaned back, almost feeling Tezuka's chest behind him, almost as if he was sharing his warmth once more with the one he loved. He held back his tears. He shouldn't be crying again… he couldn't.

"Happy birthday, Fuji," someone whispered in his ear, startling him greatly.

Turning around at the speed of light, he noticed that those arms, that protective embrace and the shared warmth were not the products of his imagination. As he turned around, he stared right into those loving hazel eyes he had missed so much. And at that moment, on impulse, he stood on the tip of his toes and brought their lips together, after so long, after so much, and he couldn't care less that his tears flowed like river down his cheeks when Tezuka kissed him back.

When they parted, only briefly, after locking their lips together for eternity, the taller youth wiped his tears away, and welcomed him back. They kissed again, not having enough, never having enough, not after so much time apart, and this time their tongue danced together, their hands roamed about and their bodies pressed so tight together not an atom could have passed in between them. They finally parted to breathe, after what seemed like forever, both panting hard. Their breaths turned into vapor as it reached the cold air.

"I'm yours," Fuji answered, instead of simply saying I'm back.

Tezuka's features softened into a smile, and hand in hand, like they had done so many times before, they walked back to their house to spend the rest of eternity together.

It was one warm and passionate night on the twenty ninth of February.

~End~


A/N: Hope you enjoyed! ^^ (Yes, I wrote ANGST!) Reviews are loved and cherished, and consecutive criticism as well.

And please, kindly vote for the next AU I should write on the poll on my profile page, if you have spare time. Thank you so much for reading!