Title: Galactic Railroad
Genre: Flangst if the best word I guess
Word count: 4061 words
Disclaimer: I do not own Prince of Tennis
A/N: Happy birthday a1y_puff!!
This fic is based on the song 'Ginga Tetsudou' by Bump of Chicken. You probably won't recognize it, but it is! XD;;
The rain was falling softly when the train arrived. It was just a small train, and luckily not crowded at all. It wasn't like the ones in Tokyo or the other big cities of Japan.
Tezuka listened to the soft ticking of the rain on his umbrella as he watched how everybody got into the train. He was the last one on the platform. Tezuka closed the umbrella, and placed it on the bench he had been sitting on. He wouldn't need it anymore. Standing in the soft rain he looked around one last time. Everything looked so unrealistic. The conductor asked him to enter the train, so they could leave. Tezuka nodded, turned around, and stepped into the train. He shouldn't look back.
He seated himself next to the window, and looked around. Trains these days were so much different from the ones he had ridden when he had been young. When he was still in school he had used the train often. Young. School. It was such a long time ago.
A little girl sat with her father on one of the other seats. Tezuka thought she shouldn't be here. She was too young. Her father as well. Old men like himself, they should ride this train. But the little girl seemed happy. She was smiling, and gave her father candy. Then she turned to Tezuka, and offered him one as well. Tezuka wanted to decline. He didn't like sweets. But then he noticed what kind of sweets it were, and he took one. He looked at it before putting it in his mouth. The only sweets he had ever liked.
The eight year old Tezuka walked home from school. He always took the route through the park, because he liked how quiet it was there around the time he went home. He was enjoying the warmth of the sun, and the singing of the birds when suddenly he noticed someone was standing behind him. Tezuka quickly turned around.
'Excuse me,' said the boy who had been standing behind him. He had honey-brown hair, and a bright closed-eyed smile. He was around Tezuka's age.
'Would you like to have some candy?' asked the boy.
The little Tezuka blinked. He had never seen the boy before, but still he was offering him candy.
'I don't take candy from strangers,' he answered.
They boy opened his eyes. Two light blue orbs appeared. But within a few seconds they disappeared again, and the smile came back.
'My name is Fuji Syuusuke,' he said. 'I'm not a stranger anymore. Do you want the candy now?'
Tezuka looked at the red candy in Fuji's hand, and then took it. He never got candy from his parents, and the boy wasn't a stranger anymore, so he didn't violate any of his mother's rules.
'Bye!' said Fuji, and he walked away.
'Thank you,' Tezuka said quickly. Fuji smiled at him, and waved. Tezuka turned around, and went home as well.
The next day when Tezuka walked over the school grounds to the gate, somebody tugged at his sleeve. It was Fuji, and he was holding two red candies.
'Shall we walk home through the park together?' he asked.
Tezuka nodded. He didn't mind walking with his new friend, who had candies. 'It's not allowed to bring candy to school.'
Fuji chuckled. 'We won't eat them until we're in the park then. So, what's your name?'
'Tezuka it is then. Let's be friends!'
With a happy smile Fuji took the other boy's hand, and together they walked to the park.
Yes, those candies were the first memories he shared with his Syuusuke. The first time they met, had been such a long time ago. Ever since that day the red candies were the only ones he ate. This one that the girl gave him was probably the last one he would ever have.
He watched the girl sitting next to her father. She smiled happily while she talked to her father about school. She was so much like Fuji when he was that age that it almost hurt.
Tezuka averted his eyes, and looked out of the window. The train travelled through green fields, and passed mountains. Some boys tried to get to the top of the mountain with their mountain bikes. Life went on.
Mountain bikes. Another memory of Fuji. They went mountain biking on their first date when they were sixteen. It had been Fuji's idea. He knew Tezuka liked hiking, but since he didn't like that very much himself, he decided they would go mountain biking instead. It still had to do with mountains and climbing, just not with walking. It was also something they could have done as normal friends. It was nothing romantic; nobody would suspect it was a date.
It was a hot day in summer, two weeks after Tezuka had confessed his love. They had become boyfriends, but Fuji was frustrated, because they had yet to go on a date. So he told Tezuka they would go mountain biking. Tezuka accepted, and now they were trying to go to the top of the mountain.
'Tezuka, I'm tired.'
'We're only cycling for ten minutes. A tennis match is more tiring.'
'I'll finish my matches quickly when it's this hot. Can't you push me?'
'Push you?' asked Tezuka bewildered. He didn't understand how that could work, and how it would help Fuji.
'I mean put your hand on my back and push, so my legs will get less tired,' explained Fuji.
'My legs will get more tired,' answered Tezuka.
'Please?' pleaded Fuji.
'Alright,' sighed Tezuka. He thought his boyfriend looked kind of cute like that. He laid one hand on Fuji's back, and pushed him. Tezuka didn't notice much of a difference. Fuji probably still needed as much strength as before, but he seemed happy, and that was enough for the bespectacled boy.
They continued their tour to the top like that for about ten minutes. Then the path got smaller. It became more, and more difficult to cycle next to each other. He couldn't continue to push Fuji that would be impossible. Tezuka pulled his hand back to keep his handlebars straight, but the sudden move startled Fuji who started to sway. Their handlebars and breaks got hooked up into each other, and when Tezuka tried to pull his bike away from Fuji, the two of them fell down. Fuji's bike fell on top of Tezuka.
'Are you alright?' asked Tezuka immediately.
'No, my foot hurts,' groaned Fuji. His foot was stuck between their bikes.
Tezuka carefully climbed from under the bikes, and freed Fuji's leg. He helped his boyfriend to get up, and got him away from the path. Fuji sat down against a tree, and Tezuka carefully took his shoe off. The foot was slightly swollen.
'I think it's sprained,' said Tezuka. 'You can't cycle back.'
'I can't walk back either,' said Fuji sarcastically. 'You will have to take back the bikes, and then come to pick me up.'
'I'm not leaving you here on your own.'
'I'm not going anywhere, Tezuka,' answered Fuji. 'If you help me to get home you will have to leave the bikes here, and they might get stolen. Just hurry!'
Tezuka took a bottle of water, and some food out of his backpack, and handed it to Fuji. Then he took the two bike,s and started his way down the hill.
'I'll be back soon.'
Tezuka walked down the hill as fast as he could with the two bikes. The path was small, and it was difficult to handle them both with just two hands. It took him almost two hours to bring back the bikes, and to return to the mountain. He had run all the way back, but now he still had to climb up. Tezuka took a deep breath, and started to walk the path they had cycled before. It took him more than half an hour to reach the place where they had fallen. Panting he looked around. Fuji was nowhere in sight. Slightly panicked Tezuka looked around again. Was this really the place where he left Fuji behind? Had Fuji tried to walk down on his own, because he had thought Tezuka took too long?
'Fuji?' he called. 'Fuji?'
'Tezuka, I'm here!,' sounded a familiar voice. The bespectacled boy tried to find out where it came from. Then he found his boyfriend, sitting on a stone plateau, hidden behind bushes and trees.
'Are you alright?' asked Tezuka.
'I'm fine,' answered Fuji. 'I was just bored, until I found this place. Come on, sit down. You look tired.'
Tezuka did what was asked of him, and finally took the time to see what Fuji was looking at. From this spot they had a beautiful view off the city and the setting sun behind it. Fuji seated himself a little closer to his boyfriend, and unconsciously Tezuka wrapped his arm around those slender shoulders. They watched the sunset in silence for a few minutes before Fuji spoke again.
'Don't you think this is a good time for our first kiss?'
Tezuka's eyes widened. He hadn't expected that. But he turned to face Fuji, and bent down a little. Their lips met. The first kiss was followed by a second, and a third. Then Tezuka pulled away.
'It's time to go home.'
'You're not romantic at all, Tezuka,' complained Fuji.
'You knew that when you agreed on becoming my boyfriend,' answered Tezuka. 'Now climb on my back. I'll carry you home.'
Tezuka smiled softly. Yes, he remembered that day well. Their first kiss had tasted so sweet. After all those years the taste of their kisses hadn't changed. He thought about when their last kiss had been; it must been about two days ago. It had still been as sweet as their first one.
Yes, life with Fuji has been as sweet as their favourite red candy. Not that they didn't have their share of problems. Living together with another man in Japan was asking for problems. It was the reason why they kept their relationship a secret for almost two years. At first they just wanted to know if their love was real. They were only sixteen. So much could change. But after two years they only loved each other more. So when they went to university Fuji wanted to share an apartment with Tezuka. Tezuka only agreed if they would tell their families about their relationship.
Tezuka had feared telling his parents, but he knew that they shouldn't keep it a secret any longer. The conversation with his father and mother went well. They had told him, and Fuji that they needed some time to think about it. His parents wanted to accept it, for they wanted their only child to be happy, but they had to get used to the idea that they wouldn't get grandchildren. Both Tezuka and Fuji had been happy with the answer. It could have been worse. But they didn't know yet how Fuji's family would react.
'Okaa-san, otou-san, nee-san, Yuuta, I have to tell you something,' announced Fuji.
The whole Fuji family looked up in surprise when the oldest son asked for their attention. Tezuka stood next to him.
Fuji took a deep breath. 'Tezuka and I have a relationship since we were sixteen. I love him and he loves me. I'm really sorry for not telling you earlier.'
For a few heartbeats it was completely silent in the room.
'Is this one of your jokes, Syuusuke?' asked his father. 'Because it's not funny.'
'It's not,' answered Fuji deadly serious. 'You think Tezuka would actually help me with a joke like this? It's true. We're lovers, and we want to share an apartment when we enter university. Like I said, I'm sorry for not telling you earlier. We wanted to…'
'Is this true, Tezuka-kun?' interrupted his father.
'It is, Fuji-san' answered Tezuka.
'I knew it,' whispered Yumiko, and she smiled softly.
'I won't give you permission to live together during university,' continued the strict man. 'You won't be living on your own. You will stay here until you get married to a girl, and build a family.'
'Dear…' stared Yoshiko, but her husband interrupted her.
'I don't want to hear it! No son of mine will live together with a man, and that is final.'
'Fine. Then I won't be your son anymore,' said Fuji, and he ran out of the house. Tezuka quickly followed him. He could hear Yumiko calling their names and Yoshiko shouted at her husband. Tezuka ignored it, and tried to catch up with Fuji. It took him a while, but then he could finally grab his lover's arm.
'Syuusuke,' he said, and he pulled the smaller boy in his arms. He held him, in the middle of the street, for anybody to see. It was something he had never done before, but at the moment he couldn't care less about anybody else. Tezuka felt tears soaking his shirt.
'It's wrong,' said Fuji suddenly. Tezuka looked at him, not understanding what he meant.
'You and me being together is wrong,' Fuji continued, explaining. 'Everybody thinks that way. Even we thought that way in the beginning, but I don't want to leave you, Tezuka.'
'I don't want it either, Fuji,' answered Tezuka softly, still holding the smaller boy. 'But it's your family or me.'
'I choose you. I choose you over my father. It is like love is a form of violence that forces you to think. That forces you to choose. I have thought about it, for a long time. I want to be with you.'
'Then be with me.'
Tezuka sighed. They couldn't have had a more difficult start. Tezuka's parents weren't very happy with Fuji living in with them until the two had found their own apartment, but they allowed it, since Fuji couldn't go back home. It was good that Yumiko-san was supportive. She had brought Syuusuke's clothes, and other belongings to Tezuka's place.
While their friends were happily searching for the best apartment they could find, they had to rent the first one that was big enough for the two of them. Tezuka smiled when he thought about their very first apartment. It was close to the university, but it was barely big enough for the two of them and they had to sleep in a single bed together. They hadn't really minded that.
The apartment had been dirty as well. The wallpaper had rotten, and there were suspicious stains on the floor that couldn't be cleaned with anything. It took them a week to get everything as clean as possible, and another week to redecorate it. Those two weeks they didn't do anything more than tidying up their new apartment.
Tezuka had imagined moving into his first house differently, but at least he had been with Fuji. With Fuji he had been able to do anything. They'd survived horrible first dates, angry parents, disgusting houses and even kids. Or the lack of kids, actually.
Tezuka took his phone out of his pocket when it rang. It was Oishi. The two of them had stayed friends after middle school, and visited each other now and then. Kikumaru was still in contact with Fuji and they saw Inui a few times a year. They also made new friends at high school and university. Most of them were married by now. Like Oishi. He'd married a few months ago. It had been a lovely wedding.
'Tezuka, Oishi here! We'd like to invite you and Fuji over for dinner tonight. Are you free?'
'Yes, we have nothing to do tonight,' answered Tezuka.
'Great, see you tonight then.'
When Tezuka hung up the phone Fuji sat down next to him on the couch.
'Who was it?' he asked.
'Oishi. He invited us over for dinner tonight.'
'Oh,' said Fuji not sounding very happy. 'Do you think he…'
'I don't know. We'll see.'
That evening Tezuka and Fuji prepared themselves for dinner at Oishi's place. They dressed neatly, and took the car to get there. Since both of them started working after university they had enough money to rent a bigger apartment, and to buy a car. They didn't use it much, since Tezuka took the train, and Fuji could walk to his work, but it was convenient for times like this.
When they arrived Oishi opened the door with a happy smile on his face. He let his two ex-team mates in, and offered them a cup of tea. His wife was cooking while they chatted in the living room, and talked about work, life and of course, tennis.
'Dinner is ready,' said a voice from the kitchen, and the three men seated themselves at the dining table. Oishi's wife was a great cook, and Tezuka and Fuji enjoyed the meal. She had really outdone herself, and it was almost like today was a celebration. They understood when after dinner Oishi announced he had to tell them something.
'We're going to have a baby.'
'Congratulations!' said Fuji immediately, and he happily congratulated the future father and mother. Tezuka did so as well, in his own stoic way. The rest of the evening they only talked about babies, and how life would change for them. It was late when Fuji and Tezuka left, and said their goodbyes to the future parents.
As soon as they stepped in the car, a tear escaped Fuji's eye.
'I'm sorry Syuusuke,' said Tezuka softly, and he wiped the tear away before he started the engine of the car.
'It's not your fault that we can't have a wedding, and that we can't have kids,' answered Fuji with a smile.
'But you want both,' answered Tezuka. 'I would give both if I could. You don't have to smile when you don't feel like smiling.'
'I know you would, and that's why I feel like smiling. You always want the best for me, and you love me so much. It's all I need. You're all I need. With you by my side I'll never miss having kids.'
Tezuka smiled back at Fuji. 'I love you too.'
Their friends moved on. They got married, bought bigger houses, and got children. Their lives moved on, while the life of Tezuka and Fuji stood still. They could never marry, would never have children, and there was no need to buy a bigger house. They lost a lot of their friends, because they could only talk about children. It had been painful for Fuji. They lived in a different world now.
Tezuka remembered how his blue-eyed lover had stated that their friends would get old, because they moved on, because their life continued. Before they knew it they would be grandparents. But the two of them stood still, didn't move on, so they would be young forever. In a way it was true.
Fuji had always approached, and solved their problems in a simple, almost childish way. But on the other side he was more grown up than any of their friends, who never had faced big problems and lived a life of happiness.
'Tadaima!' said Fuji happily when he entered their apartment. He went to buy some groceries when he finished work, and he knew Tezuka was home already. He was surprised when he didn't hear a reply. Normally his lover would come to great him with a kiss.
'Kunimitsu?' he said softly when he entered the living room. Tezuka sat on the couch. He looked depressed.
'Is something wrong? Did your grandfather…?'
'No,' answered Tezuka as he stood up, and took Fuji in his arms. 'Your mother just called. You father died in an accident. She asks if you will come to the funeral.'
Tezuka felt how his shirt got soaked with Fuji's tears, like the day Fuji got separated from his family. He had always hoped that his father would forgive them. Now it was too late.
'Will you go?' asked Tezuka.
'If you're coming with me.'
'At the same time it will be a celebration of our freedom.'
Neither of them had cried at the funeral. They had seen many people that they hadn't seen in years. From that day they had contact with the Fuji-family again. Fuji spoke to his mother, brother and sister for the first time in years. There had been an email now and then, sometimes a phone call, but they had never seen each other. In the end the death of Fuji's father turned into something positive.
Tezuka looked out of the window, and watched the landscape flashing by while he thought about that moment. It had been a turning point in their lives. Living their life got easier when people they loved accepted them. At the same time their friends got more and more problems. They started fighting with their wives about children, and money. Their kids were teenagers, and caused trouble at school or at home. People around them got divorced, but Tezuka and Fuji stayed together. They had no kids to fight about, and they had enough money to buy whatever they wanted, since both of them had a good job.
Tezuka remembered the day Oishi called him, and told that he would get a divorce, and would hardly ever see his children again. Tezuka had said he was sorry and that he would help if he could. But Fuji had smirked when his lover told him about the divorce.
'All good things come to an end.'
Yes, that was what he had said. Tezuka had asked him if they would come to an end as well, since they were a good thing as well, Fuji had disagreed. He had explained that society saw two men together as a bad thing, and bad things never come to an end.
It had been so like Fuji. Even when he got older he still liked to see people suffer. But he had helped to convince Oishi's wife to let the black-haired man see his kids more often. Tezuka was glad his Syuusuke, no matter how old he grew, would never change.
'Kunimitsu! Okaeri!' said Fuji when Tezuka entered the living room.
'Tadaima,' answered the ex-Buchou. His hair was getting a little grey, but other than that not much had changed about him.
'What do you want first?' asked Fuji. 'Dinner, bath or me?'
Tezuka couldn't help but smile a little. 'After more than thirty years you still don't know?'
'Maybe you changed your mind after those thirty-four years, to be exact. We're getting older.'
'I know I am, but you don't look a day older than the day we started living together,' answered Tezuka.
'Does that mean I can still seduce you?' asked Fuji while he laid his hand on his lover's chest.
'No need to. After thirty-four years I still want you first,' said Tezuka, and he carried Fuji bridal-style to the bedroom.
Even after seventy years together Tezuka had still chosen Fuji before dinner or bath. He couldn't carry Fuji anymore and they just didn't go any further than kissing, but their love for each other had never decreased.
But now he was alone in this train. Alone, without Syuusuke. A male voice said that they would arrive at the final station soon, and that everybody would have to get out of the train here. Tezuka was getting close to the town where he would live. The train rattled, and cried when it came to a halt.
Tezuka stood up, and checked his seat to see if he forgot anything, but then remembered that his memories were his only luggage, and stepped out of the train. The ever-shining sun felt warm on his face. It was perfect. Everything was green and the sky was as blue as Fuji's eyes. He watched how the other people in the train were picked up by family, and old friends. Tezuka sat down on a bench. Nobody was waiting for him, but he would wait for Fuji. Fuji had promised him he would follow soon, moments before Tezuka died. When had it been? A day ago? Two days ago? It might have been this morning.
But who cares about time when you have eternity?
Hope you all liked it! Let me know, ne?!