TITLE: Sign Language
FANDOM: The Prince of Tennis
SUMMARY: "I swear, Suzuki-senpai, it's like you two have your own version of sign language!" A quiet moment in the life of Shizue and Tezuka. Companion piece to Silence is Golden. TezukaOC.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Prince of Tennis.
Shizue fiddled with a ring on her left hand. It was white gold, with three small, round diamonds nestled into an elegant pattern that had been shaped from the metal.
She blinked twice and looked back at the piano keys. It wouldn't do to get distracted before she even began to practice for her upcoming concert.
The ring glinted in the light again, and she smiled fondly.
'I suppose one minute can't hurt.'
Her dress was already laid out on her bed for her when she emerged from the bath, her hair wrapped in a towel. It was a simple white sundress for the sticky summer air.
Shizue put it on and began to dry her hair.
When it was dry, she put the towels away and reached for her necklace.
Her phone buzzed, alerting her of an incoming text message.
'I'll be at the restaurant in forty minutes.'
She smiled and looked at the clock. It was five-fifty.
She was right on schedule.
Two brown-haired young women bounded forward to meet her.
"Your new CD was amazing, Shizue-senpai."
"It's been a while since we all met up! When's everyone coming?"
Shizue smiled back at them and looked at the clock. "They should be coming any time now."
Sakuno and Tomoka linked their arms through hers as they entered the restaurant.
She bowed. "Hello, Kawamura-san."
The aforementioned man grinned. "I'm glad everyone's coming. It's not every day that you two, of all people, decide to throw a get-together."
Shizue giggled, and turned her head when the screen door slid open.
"Tezuka!" Kawamura walked over and playfully slapped him against the back. "It's been a while."
He nodded briefly and turned towards Shizue's direction.
She smiled and made her way towards his side.
Shizue picked up a piece of tuna with her chopsticks, dipping it soy sauce before putting it in her mouth.
Fingertips ghosted her arm, and she looked towards her left.
Tezuka was watching her with a sort of questioning gaze.
She bit her lip and looked at everyone.
They were certainly enjoying themselves. Sakuno and Tomoka were chatting to her right, Eiji and Momoshiro seemed to be having a drinking contest with Echizen while Oishi was being the judge, and Fuji, Kaido, and Inui were catching up with Kawamura, who was taking a break from preparing sushi.
Shizue looked back and, after a long pause, nodded.
Tezuka cleared his throat, and Shizue had to marvel at his ability to get everyone's attention so easily.
"Everyone," he began. "Shizue and I would like to make an announcement."
He looked back at her and she nodded and ducked her head, waiting for him to continue.
"The two of us will be getting married sometime next year."
There was a long pause, and huge grins seemed to stretch across everyone's faces.
"You know what this means," Momoshiro stage-whispered conspiratorially.
"Drinks all around!" Eiji immediately swooped for a bottle of sake and poured everyone's glasses.
Shizue was tackled by Tomoka, who drew her to the corner of the room and began to interrogate her.
"Shizue-senpai, you have to tell us everything! When did he propose? Oh my gosh, I just realized that we don't know any landmarkers of your relationship! Start at the beginning… When did he confess his love?"
Sakuno walked over, mouthing apologies for her friend's behavior.
Shizue blinked. "Well… he never actually said anything, but—"
"What?" she screeched. "He never told you he loves you?"
"Well, to be fair, I never actually said anything, either—"
"That's excusable!" Tomoka waved her hand, brushing the matter aside. "The guy has to confess first, anyway."
Sakuno attempted to save her friend by changing the subject. "What about memorable dates, senpai?"
Shizue tilted her head to the side, thinking back. "We haven't gone on dates. We'd just visit each other once in a while, when we weren't busy."
"Any romantic dinners? Fireworks? Picnics in the moonlit park? Anniversary events?"
She sighed. "We don't really have an anniversary date to celebrate–"
"How did he propose?"
There was a pause as a dreamy smile made its way across Shizue's face.
They were at her home.
She was sitting at the piano, while Tezuka was sitting on an armchair across the room, listening intently.
She was playing Chopin's Waltz in D Flat Major, Op. 64 No. 1.
When the piece was done, she looked over.
"What do you think?"
He nodded once, and she smiled before writing the name of the piece on the list of pieces she'd be recording for her next CD.
Shizue stood and settled herself onto the armchair near his, reaching for a glass of water.
The look on his face made time slow down. She couldn't hear the ticking of the clock or the chirping of the birds outside the window.
Just one look at his face, and she knew.
He was asking something.
A red velvet box was placed on the center of the table.
She opened it.
Inside was a diamond ring.
She looked up and met his gaze, smiling.
And for once, he smiled back.
"Did he bend down on one knee?"
Shizue shook her head, the dreamy expression still on her face.
"Did he at least have a ring?"
Tomoka grabbed her shoulders, shaking her back and forth. "Senpai, I know that you two are perfect for each other, but you need to call off the wedding."
"Call it off until he professes his undying love for you!" She clasped her hands together, looking starry-eyed. "Make sure it's nothing short of an extremely romantic setting with roses and—"
"Tomo-chan…" Sakuno said, her voice trailing off warningly. "If Shizue-senpai's okay with it, then we should be, too."
Tomoka began to wail, flailing her arms about. "But, Sakuno, you know that he has to say it sometime!"
Shizue smiled and took their hands, leading them back to the table. "It's fine, Tomoka. Really."
Her huff told her that her friend didn't approve.
Tezuka looked at his fiancé.
He had driven her to her apartment complex, and they were in the elevator.
She looked back at him, her gaze questioning.
'Is something wrong?'
He took a deep breath. "I heard what your friends were saying back at the restaurant."
Shizue's eyes widened. "Oh, Kunimitsu—"
"Shizue. I don't say much, but—"
She looked at him, rather amused. Poor Tezuka was more nervous than she'd ever seen him, hands almost trembling, arms locked stiffly in place, and voice a bit more high-pitched than normal.
He was stopped when he felt something touch his hand.
He looked down.
Her hand was nestling itself in his. Her fingers were wrapping around his own.
She squeezed it, and he looked at her face.
That gentle smile told him everything.
Tezuka stared at her, and his body relaxed in relief. The expression on his face, usually so sharp and emotionless, was uncharacteristically soft and sincere.
"I love you."