Happily Ever After

Going to Karuizawa to train had been a bad idea. He learned that the hard way.

=== +.+ ===

When Momoshiro didn't return to the stadium after leaving for Karuizawa, they had begun to worry. The support of their team and the loudest of the team weren't there and they felt a gaping hole in their team morale.

Thy played anyway, though in a slight state of panic, and barely won, their thoughts far from the games they had. Only after winning did they finally sense the feel of another presence with them.

The team didn't stay for the awarding ceremony, even though it was a goal for them to win the Nationals, immediately following Atobe towards his helicopters to Karuizawa after a stern, "You'll find out later. Just follow me," instead. There's a hint of sadness, disappointment and anger in his voice but no one paid any attention to it.

=== T^T ===

Momo was in front of the hospital when they arrived, quietly waiting for them to descend from the helicopters while biting his lip. His face was somewhat pale, but only the few sharp ones could really notice.

The atmosphere became tense once again as they walked into the halls, drawing attention from doctors, nurses and patients alike.

Fuji felt a shiver down his spine, the same kind as when he was playing earlier that day, and he wasn't feeling good about that.

They stopped in front of a white door. The atmosphere became heavier.

"Ummm, why are we here?" Eiji asked, refusing to look at the name posted right beside the door.

"You'll see," was all that Atobe said for Momoshiro couldn't speak as he continued to nibble on his lower lip.

As Momoshiro was about to turn the doorknob, a familiar voice spoke.

"There's no need for that," they all looked to their right, the source of the voice, and found a familiar tanned man in a black robe of some sort and slippers.

His right arm was behind his neck as if finding everything a pain at the moment.

"You must all be tired after the tournament. GO home and rest. His funeral would probably be in a week. I'm glad that he managed to find great friends, being a huge brat and all. Even for awhile," Nanjiroh paused to bow. "Thank you for taking care of my son," he continued before he turned and left.

Everyone was too flabbergasted to say anything after, not quite understanding what had happened. All they could do was follow Atobe back to the helicopters and go back to their homes.

=== \(^V^)/ ===

Needless to say, everyone had nightmares that night, dreaming about – pretty much- the same things, running after Echizen but not being able to catch up, Echizen shattering under their touch and so on. It all concerned the disappearance of the raven-haired boy. Amongst all of them, Fuji was the most affected.

He tossed around in his sleep as he recalled thousands of moments that he stole a glance at the younger, recalled the thousands of times he ignored the stares he received from the younger because he was scared that it was only his own wishful thinking, all behind his closed eyelids. How he regretted those times.

He dreamt of their unfinished tennis match, how Echizen was who supported him when neither the Coach nor Tezuka was there sitting on the bench in the sidelines for him, of how many times he ignored his budding feelings for their slightly awkward friendship. He dreamt of a picture frame, enclosing a photo of all of them with the National Tournament trophy, including the younger boy – the way he thought it should have been – falling and breaking, the glass shattering right in front of the younger's face.

Fuji woke up in cold sweat and for the first time that day, amidst all of the events happening, he let himself cry, all kinds of emotions rushing out of him until there was none left. His mind went blank and sleep engulfed him.

=== aaaa ===

A week after, he stood in front of the altar. He was one of the latest visitors to arrive, the funeral to be closed to everyone but family as soon as the sun sets and the others having already visited during the morning after finding out that Echizen had his head really hard after nearly being hit by a log by a waterfall and nearly drowned. He was merely sleeping for a while.

He stood in front of the picture of the raven-haired boy, marveling at how handsome he is and clasped his hands together, wishing him peace as he rested and finally letting him know of his feelings.

Tezuka soon appeared beside him, hands also clasping together in respect before he turned to face him. "Don't worry, Fuji. I'm pretty sure he loved you too," he said and left after giving the brown-haired boy a pat on the shoulder.

He sighed before turning back to the altar.

Tezuka had been his rival for the younger's affection but the Seigaku captain made it clear that he wasn't going to act on his feelings, choosing to follow his parents' and grandparents' wishes instead and find a girl for him to marry.

He sighed again. The conflict of his love story had surfaced before it had even started, but he smiled and a gust of wind blew into the altar against his ear through the open doors behind him.

In a small voice, he heard a hushed 'Thank you' and he managed to smile a little wider. His 'Happily Ever After' was still waiting for him after all.


A/N: It's been a while since I've posted something here. First of all, I'm sorry… that I had to kill him. When I was writing this, I was kind of depressed and this kind of wrote itself. I'm not really sure what to say about it but I don't hate this story either. I hope you guys like it . Please review!

I'm writing a draft for an upcoming chaptered fic about Jirou and Atobe… but I've been having major writer's block lately. It's not nice T^T Please look forward to this one. I think I put the summary of this in my profile. Thanks guys!