A/N: Attention. This is a sequel to Respect but apparently I have a weakness in writing scenes taking place during college time. So, like all my Respect One shots, this story takes place during high school even though Amai and Tezuka weren't together at that time. If you get a little confused, I'll refresh you with something. Based on the Respect story, Tezuka stayed in Tokyo for high school and Amai stayed in Osaka. In the manga, Tezuka stayed in Germany. I'm following the manga, Tezuka will be in Germany, Amai in Osaka. This time, the two of them are also together.
Disclaimer: I do not own Prince of Tennis, the characters, and the like. I only own Amai.
This is going to be a five-chapter sequel talking about the struggle of a long distance relationship between Amai and Tezuka.
Respect: I Won't Be There
Chapter 1: Patiently Waiting
"Tezuka? Are you still there?" I asked. Tezuka was on the other line. But he wasn't anywhere near me. He wasn't in his house, nor was he in school, or playing tennis in a nearby court. He wasn't in a place where I could see him easily. He's in Germany and I'm in Osaka. That's how crazy this is.
I heard him sigh. "Yeah. Sorry, I know it gets harder the longer we don't see each other."
I lied down on the bed, staring at the ceiling. My roommate was fast asleep. It was already 1 O'clock in the morning. It was around 1700 in Germany. I wasn't tired yet. I wanted to listen to Tezuka's voice more.
"Of course it does. I haven't even gotten used to not seeing you around here or hearing your voice more often." I replied. I wanted him to say the exact same thing. That he wanted to see me at that very moment. I wanted him to tell me that he needed me. But because he's so stoic, I guess hearing him say that is quite impossible.
"Yeah" That's all he usually says when I'm on the phone with him. He feels so distant whenever we talk on the phone. That's exactly why I love seeing him in person. That way I can get more words out of his mouth and I can see his irresistible face. In that manner, I can hold him tight. I can feel him in my arms. I can be with him. But it's just so hard when it's like this.
"Is there anything wrong? You're hardly saying anything." Well, it's not like he says much but today, he's a lot more silent than usual.
"It's your birthday tomorrow." He started.
"It's my birthday now." I said immediately. "Time zones are very different, Tezuka."
It was a sad greeting. It was one of the saddest I've heard. I wasn't even the slightest bit happy. I didn't like it. I didn't like how he didn't sound happy for me turning one year older. I don't think I was happy turning one year older. I hated it.
"How are you celebrating?" He asked. I guess he wasn't happy that he wasn't going to be with me when I blow the candle. He won't be there to give me a gift, or hold my hand. He won't be there.
"I don't know." I answered. "Maybe my classmates will throw a grand party for me." I tried to sound happy but it didn't work. I don't think I could be happy.
This has been one of the saddest phone calls that I've had with him. Most of the time, we talk about how fun the day was. I tell him about my classmates, my writing in the school paper, and my teachers. He tells me about the Germans, the tennis, his arm and his school day.
"That sounds fun." He commented.
"I hope it will be." I replied. I then felt cold. I wrapped the blanket around me. The window was turning wet. It was raining and it was strong. "Tezuka, it's raining."
He didn't answer for a few seconds and then said, "What a coincidence, it's raining here, too."
I breathed in hard. "I miss you, you know."
"I miss you too, Amai."
I hated it when he called me by my first name. It reminded me how of close he was to me. We had a special relationship. He was mine, and I was his. I suddenly heard a door open from the other side of the phone. He was going out, under the rain. It was too cold, I couldn't do it. I suddenly heard the strong drops of rain.
"You're outside?" I asked, curious of why he was doing that.
"Yes." He said. "I miss the rain."
"It doesn't rain much in Germany?" I asked.
He came up with a short reply "It rains."
"Yeah" I didn't want to ask more. "But why did you go outside? You'll get sick."
"I just wanted to feel the rain, Amai."
Of course he just wanted to feel the rain. He's cool like that. I mentally laughed with my own remark. "You can feel it from the balcony of where you're staying. You said you had one." I said trying to remember what he said when described where he stayed.
"I'm not there right now."
"Huh? You moved? Where are you?" I asked right away. This was getting weird. He must have been in the library when he called. But he always calls when he's at home.
"I'm outside" came his obvious answer.
"No, I mean, where were you before you went out?"
"Inside a hotel."
What was going on? Why was he in a hotel? Ah, maybe he was having a sleepover in one of his friend's hotel. He has this extremely rich classmate, he can do that easily.
"Why are you there?"
"Where else would I stay?" He asked. The rain was getting stronger. That's funny, the rain just got stronger here. It's cool how Germany and Japan skies are working simultaneously.
"In your house" Of course, where else would he be? I'm not stupid.
"Amai, go outside." He said. It sounded like an order.
"Why? I'll get wet and it's freaking cold." I complained. I was already freezing inside this room, how much more would I freeze outside.
I was always submissive. I sighed. "Fine" I pulled myself out of bed, wore my slippers and stood up. "Why are you letting me do this anyway?" I asked a little annoyed by the request.
"Because you miss me."
"Huh? I don't understand." I was walking down the cold, dark and scary stairs. "I know I miss you but what does going outside have to do with this."
"I have a surprise for you."
Oh, he left me a gift! "Really?"
"Open the door"
I ran to the entrance and did that. I didn't find a box, nor did a find a letter anywhere. I found nothing. "Tezuka, there's nothing here." I looked around.
"There shouldn't be anything there."
At that moment, I heard footsteps. It wasn't so loud since the rain was dropping down fast and strong. The wind pushed some water towards my face. I looked to the right, and saw someone.
"Should there be someone now?" I asked. I emphasized on the "someone."
"Yeah" that was the reply and that was the signal. I had to run to him. I wanted to. I wanted to hold him so bad. He was there standing just a few steps away from the door. He was staring at me, I could tell, even if I wasn't wearing my glasses.
I ran towards him. His arms were open for him to catch me. And when I finally held on to him, I didn't let go. I was off the ground. He was carrying me for a second until he placed me down. "Damn it, you should have told me you were here in the first place." I said while holding on to him.
"What's the use of a surprise if you don't get surprised?" He asked rhetorically.
"I missed you." I said one more time. I loved his scent. I love the feeling of his shoulder. I loved his arms wrapping around mine.
"You already told me that." He let me go and pulled me away from him. His hands were holding on to mine. At this distance I could see him clearly. His glasses were all so wet. He removed them and placed them on his shirt.
"I know. I just wanted you to know that again." I replied with a smile. I've never smiled like this recently. "You've just made my day."
"You're day has just started, Amai."
He was always so serious about things. He can never be imaginative. Never.
His eyes widened. I said his name, alright. It's an accomplishment. He smirked. "Finally"
"Hey, you want to go in before we both get freaking wet." I offered.
"We're already wet." He said while looking at himself. "Let's go in."
Amai was prettier than ever. She didn't seem like what she sounded on the phone – worried and depressed. I was satisfied to see that she was like this. She handed me a towel and sat beside me on the sofa. The room was silent. The only thing I could hear was the winds from the outside.
"Ne, Tezuka" I looked at Amai. Her head was resting on my left shoulder. It was light and it felt good. I actually missed it, any sort of physical contact I had with her, I missed it. I found her hand on her lap and unconsciously held on to it. I noticed that her hair was already longer than before. It was completely covering her shoulders. She's grown. "I missed you."
She's repeated that line to me three times now. I guess, it's just too hard for her to believe that I'm beside her now. "I know. I missed you, too."
She didn't reply. I brushed off the hair that was covering her face and found her sleeping peacefully on my shoulder. "Happy Birthday" I repeated. I looked up at the ceiling, thankful that I got to see her on her birthday.
"Thank you" I heard her mumble. Apparently she was still awake. "How long are you going to stay here?"
I didn't want to answer. I didn't want to tell her that I wasn't staying here forever. "Three days"
"That sucks" the fingers of her left hand were walking up and down my left hand. "How long do you plan to stay in Germany?"
I never wanted her to ask that question. I don't want her to know how long she has to wait till she'll see me again. "I told you long ago that I would stay there to become a pro."
"How long is that?" she sounded sad. I knew she was sad. She didn't like counting days. She didn't like waiting. I didn't want her to wait.
"A lot of years."
"More than three years?"
"I hate it." That's what I didn't want to hear. It's hard to choose between the people you love and the things you love to do. "Can't you stay here?"
"I'm sorry, Amai."
We had an argument on this before. I don't want to start that argument all over again. I wanted it settled. What I wanted in the end was her in my arms and my dreams to come true. She knew that. And I still hope she understands it.
"I get it." She blurted out. "But I just don't like it."
I shook my head. "I don't like it either." I didn't like leaving her. I didn't want to see her this depressed.
"Visit me more next time. "
"Thanks... for c-coming" Her voice was cracking. "I... I'll n-never forget this d-day" She pulled her right hand away from mine and started wiping her eyes. "Sorry" she stood up right away. "I'll go to the CR."
But I stopped her. She didn't have to hide her tears. She didn't need to. I had to see her. I wanted to see every single side of her. I held on to her hand and said, "Don't. Just stay with me."
Her tears were flowing faster. I didn't know if it was because she was happy or if she was sad. I opened up my arms. She looked at me for a second and then hugged me tight. She was crying harder and harder. She was basically sitting on me. But I didn't mind. It was Amai, anyway, and I hurt her. "I'm not leaving you."
"I know you won't"
This caught me by surprise. It just showed how much she trusted me. To make me leave her alone here in Osaka, I can't believe that. She was just too impossible, sometimes. That's what I loved about her. Or maybe, I just love her too much.
Like I said, I hate it whenever I leave. I hate leaving her alone. I didn't want to go to Germany just yet. I didn't want to leave.
"C'mon, Tezuka, don't look at me like that. I promise I won't cry!" She insisted that she would see me off in the airport. I didn't want her to because I had feeling that she was going to cry again. And I didn't want to see that anymore. We were already in the airport, and true enough, she didn't cry. "I survived!"
"Yes you did" I answered. I was just hoping that she would continue to stay this active until the end. I was holding on to her hand tighter than ever. I didn't want to forget the feeling.
We were sitting on one of the benches, waiting for my flight to be called. "Germany is a long way, huh?"
I nodded. It's long and far.
"Gosh, I hate the suspense." She mumbled.
"You want me to leave already?" I asked.
"No, of course not!" She yelled and then she covered her mouth right away.
I smirked. It was getting natural every time I was with her.
"You look cute like that." She commented. "The smirk, I mean."
I didn't want to give an answer. I never really bothered to show much of myself to anyone except for her. So, I don't think there is a reason for me to show more than I needed to.
And then we heard what we both didn't want to hear. My flight number was being called. I held on tighter to her.
"I guess that's you." She said.
I nodded. "I have to go" I didn't want to say it.
We stood up and walked closer to the boarding area. I was about to let go of her hand but she was holding on too tight. "Sorry" I heard her say.
I turned around.
"I told you I won't cry but I don't think it's easy." She was looking down. Her free hand was covering her eyes.
I knew it. I saw this coming. That's why I didn't like the suspense. I just liked being with her but I didn't like the leaving part. I didn't want to see her cry.
"Yeah?" She looked at me with her reddening wet eyes and her puffed up cheek.
Like I said earlier, I didn't want to see her cry. And the only way to stop that was by holding on to her cheek, pull myself closer and kiss her. It wasn't the same as long ago. It didn't last too long but I knew for sure that this one had more memories in it. I wanted it to last longer.
"What was that for?" she asked.
I didn't want to tell her my true motive. But in reality, kissing her made me feel better and it made me feel like I was losing more than I had already lost. "Just in case you'll miss me again."
"Idiot!" she hit me on my left arm. "Of course, I am!"
"Then I better go then." I said once more.
I turned around and walked to the entrance.
"Kunimitsu, don't forget me!" I heard her yell. I looked at her and nodded. "And one more thing: I am so going to surprise you in Germany!"
Of course she will. She'll do the impossible even if it will take her forever. That's Amasawa Amai. That's the girl I love.
A/n: Who missed Tezuka and Amai? I did!!
Don't forget to Review, story-alert, favorite... anything! This is going to be on long joy ride. It's going to be a lot more depressing than Respect. Ready your tissues!