First Prince of Tennis fic~ enjoy!
Lately, Tezuka's been on the edge.
I don't know if this has anything to do with Echizen's return to U.S, but Tezuka's been different.
I suppose preparing for his studies are making him more aggressive or that the disappearance of Seigaku's pillar is making him worried… but one thing was for sure… he was always uneasy about something.
"Tezuka," I started one day as we both we're walking toward Seigaku property while carrying our bags behind us, "Scouts are coming again to watch us today."
"Yes." he answered still looking ahead, "That is why I need to talk to everyone today. They need reminding about proper behavior. And you -you must keep focused on your own game and stop entertaining bystanders."
"I never do that." I said, raising my eyebrows at him testily. Tezuka threw me a sharp look.
"Yes, you do, and I don't like it."
"It makes a lot of distraction for everyone so stop it. Its a start of disturbance among the younger members to see you entertaining watchers."
I smiled slightly. Seigaku members have been very hyperactive as well.
"By the way, Fuji, aren't you getting a little thin?"
"What?" I looked at him quite offended, "I've been doing my best to eat well… but why do you ask?"
"Nothing." he replied, shifting his eyes that were looking at me a moment ago, "I just thought you're losing some weight… and it's not good for the body."
I blinked at him and opened my mouth to say something but decided against it. How could he tell if I was losing weight or not, with a body like mine… he must be really observant…
We walked around the courts and entered the Seigaku changing rooms. That was where we found our regular members: Inui, who was checking something on his locker, was already on his blue Seigaku uniform, Takashi was sitting on a bench and seemingly sleepy, Oishi and Eiji were talking on a corner, while Momoshiro and Kaito were barking at each other as usual.
"Good morning, Captain, Fuji!"
"Hey, good morning!"
They greeted us as we entered inside and I proceeded to my own locker. Tezuka's locker was next to mine so seconds later he was standing beside me again.
"They are active as usual." I commented as I opened my locker. Something fell out of it- a letter.
"Wow, Fuji you've got another admirer's letter!" cooed Eiji, jumping behind me energetically, "You are really popular with girls these days, huh?"
"Ah." was all I could answer as I picked up the letter and absentmindedly put it on my pocket.
"That's really a record, Fuji-senpai!" Momoshiro continued on, "I envy you!"
I smiled but didn't say anything as the boys started making fuss again. I looked at Tezuka who was looking back at me with a shrewd look.
When everyone was outside except for me and the captain, I slipped my hand on my pocket and opened the letter.
"Is it the same one again?" Tezuka's voice bought me back from my thoughts.
"Yeah," I answered quietly as I put the letter away, "The same one."
"Fifth time this week… how is that person getting inside this room…"
Tezuka and I looked at each other. I recognize my best friend's serious eyes and smiled.
"Don't worry about it, it's not like he's dangerous or something."
"You should be worried," he told me as he turned to close his locker and went to the door wearing his Seigaku uniform "Fifth letter in consecutive days, and he is a guy."
He left the changing room and I was left alone feeling a prick of disappointment. I had hoped against all hope that Tezuka would feel something for me now that other people are noticing me… but no… Tezuka doesn't know… or if he knows he never acknowledges it… my feelings for him.
It was bitter, I thought as I left the changing rooms, Tezuka and I have been best friends for a length of time. I was really fond of Tezuka, and admired him for who he is. Whenever I see anyone admiring his skills or challenging him I feel a surge of pride to be his best friend, but recently this fondness has change. I knew I was in love with him longer but it was only confirmed when he took my hand on finals. I wished I could have told him then…
But knowing Tezuka… it was but a bitter wish.
"All right, listen up." Tezuka's voice overpowered any other sound around and caught everyone's attention, "We will have some visitors watching us today so I do not like any of you acting like a bunch of children! Show off your skills if you must but no childish behaviour, understand?"
I watched Tezuka from afar. He was the man everyone would wish to have. I stared at him and only him… I wonder why my feelings aren't reaching him…
Later that afternoon the courts were filled by Seigaku regulars, and the stands were filled with scouts clicking their cameras every now and then. I was playing with Takashi for some time now and had one three sets and one draw. Takashi was as strong as usual, I wonder if my wrists were the same.
A few minutes later we had break time and my eyes automatically searched for Tezuka. I saw him with Oishi near the second court.
"Tezuka, want to have lunch together?" I called at him.
"Yes, wait for me." he told me in a side glance. I nodded and was about to turn around when I heard someone call me.
"Fuji," Inui called as he approached me, "A student reporter wants to talk to you."
I raised my eyebrows questioningly and looked at where he was pointing. I saw a young man standing near the gate of the court smile at me.
"All right." I said walking pass Tezuka.
"Fuji." Tezuka suddenly called out to me. "Let's take lunch."
I rounded on the captain in surprise, "Yeah, just give me a moment, I'll just talk to someone."
Is it my imagination, or Tezuka seemed suddenly angry?
"Make it fast." was his final word.
After a whole day of practicing, every one of us was exhausted to our skins. I was spent as well and tired so I slump back on the bench next to my locker with a towel on my head.
"This is…crazy…" murmured Takashi as he slumped on the behind me.
"There will be more scouts tomorrow." Inui informed the group laxly.
"What! I can barely feel my feet!" Eiji complained, taking out his foot from his tennis shoes. "Why are they watching us too much?"
"Let me think," Momoshiro got up from the floor where he was lying awhile ago, "because we won the nationals?"
"No," it was Kaito, "It's because you're an idiot."
I laughed with the rest while Kaito and Momoshiro went into a wrestling match.
We all looked around and saw Tezuka standing by the door looking livid.
"Change your clothes and rest early." He told us all with that authority of his, "More scouts will come tomorrow, but it would be the last. Now I want you all to be in perfect condition."
"Fuji," he turned to me as I pulled out my shirt, "wait for me, I just need to talk to coach."
"Alright." I answered, packing my wet uniform.
Everyone bid me a goodbye as one by one they went. I took out a dry towel from my locker and rub it on my body eagerly. One of the best things about being Tezuka's friend is that I get to wait for him and go home together. Tezuka acknowledges me this way, which I think, is a good sign.
Out of the corner of my eyes I saw something flash.
I looked up at the window and only saw the dark sky outside. Was it lightning?
To check and make sure that it wasn't some reporter with a camera, I went outside with my towel hanging on my shoulder. I looked from left to right but saw no one. It was getting really dark and the sky looked it was about to rain, but I saw no one.
I whipped around and saw Tezuka surveying me with his frown.
"Why are you outside looking like that?" he almost demanded in his cool voice. I would have asked why he sounded strange but then I realized my fault. I was walking around only wearing my pants and a towel on my shoulder. It would appear weird to be seen by another person like this, but with Tezuka…
"It's nothing." I said casually as I went near him, "I was just looking around."
Tezuka's frown deepened. I had to concede.
"I thought I saw a reporter outside the window. He was taking pictures so I thought I'd-"
The rest of my words were shut away when Tezuka suddenly seize my arm and pulled me close to him, his sharp eyes searching the surroundings. I was too surprised to react for Tezuka has never held me like this before.
"Get inside." were his next words but I didn't have to decide if I should follow -he was already pushing me from the back. "Get dressed."
I obeyed Tezuka without really thinking and when I was finished I found him on the doorway.
"Tezuka?" I approached him while studying his new behaviour. "What's the matter?"
"Let's get going." was his answer.
I nodded and together we went. I walked beside him quietly but some thoughts were stirring on my head. Tezuka, as my friend, had always been protecting me in some way or the other. But whenever he does that I could feel that his intentions were purely of a friend. But this action perhaps, is it still a friendly way of trying to protect his best friend?
I looked at him quietly. Those sharp, livid eyes… those angry eyes. Why was he angry?
"Tezuka, is something the matter?"
"I could feel that you are not in the mood lately…"
"Can't you tell me?"
Tezuka still has his eyes ahead and didn't answer.
We parted on the bus stop with me thinking that my best friend was hiding something from me… and that me to him. I took the bus home in silence, wondering what it was that bothers Tezuka so much… has it got something to do with me?
The next day the court was once again filled with not only scouts but also outsiders. They were circling the courts. Seigaku students were also there to observe. Without fail, I saw another letter inside my locker.
"My, my, isn't that quite too constant." Inui was looking over my shoulder with a knowing look.
"Aha." I smiled ruefully as I slipped the letter inside my pocket quickly.
"I recognize male handwriting." he continued taunting with a smile, "You are popular with males as well, Fuji."
"Well said," I wickedly turned a cheeky grin at him, "And I suppose I have your likings as well?"
Inui grinned at me with a knowing look that made Eiji whistle from behind.
"Touché." Inui turned to his locker, "To say such a thing, aren't you taking the complement too hard?"
"Not really," I said, feeling the taunting is getting a little extreme as I walked near Inui who turned to me, "I was just thinking of the possibilities…that you'd considered me?"
Without really thinking I pushed him back on his locker and slyly touch the tip of his chin with my finger, "Wouldn't you think about it?"
"Enticing." Inui grinned, his square spectacles glinting suddenly.
There was a sound of a locker door banging close too loudly that surprised me. All of us looked around and saw Tezuka in front of his locker.
"Stop fooling around," he said coldly as he looked at us – to me. "and prepare for all of your games. Get going, all of you."
There was a murmur of 'hai' around.
"Someone's not in the mood." Inui remarked, pushing his glasses at the bridge of his nose. "I suppose I couldn't take your bait, Fuji… if I want to keep my neck intact, that is."
"What?" I turned at him but he merely shrugged and turned to his locker. I looked back to Tezuka but he seemed too busy in getting his jacket on. Did he do that in purpose?
I watched Tezuka closely as everyone went outside with their rackets but he didn't look at me after that.
Tezuka's behaviour kept me at bay for the rest of the morning. I was playing with Eiji by mid morning when his next outburst happened. There were a few screams on the side court that caught everyone's attention.
I looked around and saw a couple of girls shouting around. I smiled at them.
"Ahh~ Fuji is really popular with girls!" Eiji winked at me.
"Concentrate on the game!" Tezuka shouted out of nowhere. I looked at where he was and saw that he was looking at me again. He looked extremely annoyed about something. I blinked at him in wonder.
"What's with Captain," pouted Eiji suddenly as he aimed a blow on my left, "If he keeps on acting like that I'll think he's jealous about you, Fuji!"
Something cracked on my left side.
"Kikumaru wins!" shouted the ampire.
Eiji jumped up and down opposite me in victory, but I wasn't really thinking about the game anymore. I was thinking about what he said… that Tezuka…was jealous?
Later that afternoon, when everyone was on break I approached him while he was talking with Inui. I needed to know if what I'm thinking was true… that after all this time he was feeling the same…
"Tezuka, can we talk?"
He looked at me over his shoulder but then someone else called out to me.
"Fuji-senpai!" it was Momoshiro, "that student reporter wants a word with you."
I looked around and saw the same young man standing on the side court waving at me.
"He seemed really interested in you." Inui remarked, "He was here yesterday too, wasn't he?"
"He was just asking questions." I said uninterestedly, but then I remembered something. "Although I admit, he does seem charming."
I looked closely at Tezuka's reaction but he remained impassive as ever.
"You should finish talking with him quickly." he said turning around with his back on me, "The games will start in a few moments."
Aren't you going to stop me? I wanted to ask but the question didn't leave my mouth. I watched as Tezuka left without saying anything and my hopes that he too has the same feeling for me extinguished.
The sky above us darkened as the feeling of coldness hit the bottom of my heart. It was useless.
"Hello," I smiled at the student reporter, whom I decided was from another school, "Sorry I cannot entertain you today, the captain said the game will start in a few moments."
"That's ok with me, but can we met up later then? I just want to tell you something. Here in the court."
"Yeah, later." I told him and turned back on the court, feeling extremely foolish.
Why did Tezuka have to be so cold… if he was jealous then he could have told me so… but then, lately it feels like he's been hiding things from me… are we still best friends?
But do you want to remain as a friend? A voice playfully asked.
I know the answer… but I don't want to risk it.
The blue sky had given up to the dark clouds and a heavy rain promises its downfall on the rest of the district. I slumped back on a bench, soaked in my own sweat after the nonstop game. I was feeling down already and the weather did not help my mood.
"Going home, Fuji?" Oishi asked me from his locker, "Tezuka said if you could wait for him, he just went to talk to the coach."
"Yeah, I'll wait for him." I said standing up and heading for my locker. I opened it exactly as a loud thunder escaped the sky and the lights on the locker room suddenly went off.
"Hey- black out?" I heard Eiji's voice. Everyone around seemed to be struggling with each other. I blindly search for my towel on the locker and then closed it again. This time I could hear the heavy rain outside.
"Geez! Look at this rain!" I heard Momoshiro shout from outside. "And I said I'll meet up with my sister later!"
Something inside my head seemed to ring a bell… didn't I promise someone I would be meeting him after the games?
The lights suddenly returned.
"Tsk." Kaito shook his head as he took his fallen racket on the ground. "Troublesome."
"Can you guys tell Tezuka I'll just meet someone around the corner?" I told the guys as I walked toward the door, "It won't take long."
"But it's raining." Oishi frowned, "Here, use my umbrella."
"There's no need," I said smiling, "I haven't changed my clothes anyway so it's ok to get a little bit soaked."
I ran in the middle of the hard rain. If that person is still there…
It didn't take me five minutes to find the reporter under the shade of the trees near the court. The place was empty except for him and by the looks of it he's been waiting too long.
"Hey," I called out as I joined him under the tree, "I am really sorry!"
"It's ok, Fuji." The student reporter told me smiling. "I was really expecting you."
I looked at him in surprise and realized he was sincere. I remained quiet for it was he who was going to tell me something. He looked a bit red, I noticed, and he kept shifting on one foot to another… this guy… could he be…?
"Fuji," he started, but I knew what he was thinking even before his mouth said it, "I really like you… Please go out with me."
The rain continued pouring around us. I remained quiet.
"I've been watching you ever since the finals." He continued with a small smile, his eyes shining gleefully, "I saw you play… how beautifully you played… I was captured by your beauty. After that I couldn't think of anything but seeing you… to be with you… to have you…"
He took a step toward me but still I didn't say anything.
"All my letters expressed the same weight I was feeling about you, because I really like you."
Something inside my head stirred. Letters?
"It was your letters?" I spoke finally, looking at him in the eye for the first time, "You've been sending them to me?"
"Yes," he breathed excitedly that alarmed me so much because he was too close. "I've been dreaming about this moment Fuji… the moment I could confess about my feelings."
I watched the guy's hope rise up and knew he was already expecting me to say yes. The thing is I wasn't planning to- and the fact that I didn't even know his name till now was alarming as well.
"I'm sorry," I said firmly and a little ruefully, "but I already like somebody else."
I could see depression seething on his eyes the moment I said this, knew I've broken someone's heart and will by my selfish answer… but I knew I would never forgive myself if this keeps up.
"You like…someone else…" he breathed at me that made me take a step backward. "Who?"
I didn't answer.
My thoughts were washed away when I felt myself being dragged by the wrist roughly. The next moment I found myself pinned on a tree with strong hands gripping my wrists.
"Hey- stop!" I shouted in surprise and anger as I saw the nameless reporter standing before me. He was looking at me with hungry eyes as he forced my hands away.
"Fuji… please accept me…" he whispered breathlessly, "I know you will like me, just give me a chance!"
Is this how rejection would make anyone like?
"I can't- I'm sorry," I repeated, struggling with all my might but he was much stronger than I. For the first time in my life- I was being attacked!
"No, no… don't answer too quickly." he said in a hurry and I was scared by how his voice had sound: pleading and desperate. "I'm going to make you feel me- and then you can decide!"
"Feel?" I whispered thunderstruck at whatever the mad man was thinking. That was when I realized what he meant. Something hard brushed against my lower body part and knew he was pressing his thing on mine. "Stop it!" I cried in panic- this cannot be happening!
I saw his mouth closing in and purposely averted it with all my might.
"Let go- no!" I cried helplessly as I felt his tongue on my neck. A sudden tug and ripping noise caught my ears and I realized my shirt was being torn- I felt his cold, clammy hand slip inside my body and felt goosebumps at his every touch. "Stop!"
I could not take it any longer… If this was how making love would feel like then I don't want to ever feel it again… but if I was going to be given a chance to do this with anyone then I can only think of one person to whom I would gladly give my own… and his name was what I wanted to call out above all…
"Tezuka…" I silently called with tears streaming down my cheeks, my hands tightly closed, "please…. Tezuka…"
And then he was there.
"Bastard!" I heard his voice and then I felt the reporter in front of me was shoved away.
I opened my eyes and saw his bright face looking at me in concern. Everything came back to me and I realized it was still raining.
"Tezuka…" I whispered, blinking in disbelief and saw that the reporter was lying face down on the ground, shaking his head. To my utter relief, Tezuka stood before me and the reporter, who stood up again and was looking at Tezuka with wide eyes.
"Try doing this again and I will make sure you end up in jail." Tezuka's anger could not be contained. I was breathing really hard, my fingers clutching the remaining of my shirt. The reporter did not waste time by dashed away on the rain.
"Fuji…" Tezuka rounded on me as I slid down the ground. And then Tezuka did something I never expected- he embraced me. He embraced me so tightly and I was lost. I cried on his shoulders, my body shaking uncontrollably. I gripped his shirt and knew I was safe.
Half an hour later, Tezuka offered me a hot tea.
We were on his house and I was sitting on the couch. He gave me his Seigaku jacket on our way home. The rain was pouring nonstop outside.
"I already called at your house and told them you are staying because of the rain." Tezuka told me as he sat beside me quietly. "Don't worry, I did not tell them what happened."
"Thank you." I answered as I took a sip on the tea. I felt its hot liquid enter my cold body. It was refreshing. I could feel Tezuka looking at me.
"I saw this on the locker room floor." He said after awhile as he showed me a photo, "It must have fallen out of your locker and you didn't see it… Otherwise you would not have met that person."
I looked at the picture and saw a picture of me only wearing pants and towel on my shoulder inside the locker room. It seemed like it was taken from the view of the window. There were writings on the photo.
"Don't forget to meet me…" I read quietly, "So it was really him… he was also the one who was sending those letters. And I didn't realize…"
"Oishi told me you were going to meet someone… and when I found that I quickly followed you."
I looked at Tezuka's firm profile and my feelings of panic disappeared completely. If I think about it now, Tezuka went after me the moment he realized I was in danger… could it be… does he feel the same…? Should I tell him?
"Fuji." his voice caught me and I searched his eyes for any sign. "You must never meet anyone alone… You know how dangerous it is these days… especially for you. Take care of yourself."
I looked at him carefully, and then closed my eyes. I would have appreciated it if he told me he loved me, that he would protect me and look after me from now on. But his words then made me realize that I was expecting too much kindness from him. He had already saved me…it was the perfect time to confess to him… but am I likely to ask too much?
"I won't wander alone," I smiled lightly, but my heart was breaking for the words I could not say. "I suppose if someone tried to harass me again then I will make sure to have something on me. You're not always around after all… So what do you suggest? Pepper spray? Stun gun? Or do you think I should take on Taekwondo lessons? Tezuka?"
I was saying more than necessarily… but it was all I could do to stop my mouth from spilling what my heart was pushing to say.
"Fuji… why are you crying?'
My eyes opened wide. I touched my face and realized he was telling the truth… was I hurting this much?
"It's nothing," I laughed unconvincingly, "it's probably from shock…"
Tezuka sat too close and when he leaned on me I felt my whole body vibrating.
You don't know how much you are affecting me…
And then it happened… I don't know what made me did it but I kissed him. It was a light touch on the lips, almost a quick brush and then gone.
I could see Tezuka's shock reflected on his eyes, knew that I have the same expression for I could see my whole face reflected on his wide eyes.
"I'm sorry-!" I wailed in surprise and tried to get up but strong hands kept me where I was sitting. I felt Tezuka's hand on mine, urging me to sit down calmly.
"You idiot…" he whispered, leaning down more closely as our lips meet again, "I can't be held responsible if you're gonna be like this."
I felt his lips, encouraging me to answer back, teasing me to open more. I willingly answered him, and gave him what he was asking… and then our lips parted.
"Fuji." he said to me, his eyes fixed on mine, "I'm in love with you."
I didn't have to answer. I accepted him fully with open arms.
"Let's take a shower together." Tezuka stood up from the couch whilst still holding my hand, "You're going to catch cold."
And the shower was open and was washing us together as we kissed under its pour. I felt all happiness was filling me as the man I loved stood before me. It was different from being forced to do it.
Half an hour later, I lay on Tezuka's bed while he was doing his school work on the table. The clock chimed 9:00 pm.
"How did you know you like me?"
"The first time we met." was the straight answer.
"Liar. Then you should have told me a long time ago."
"No, I'm not lying. I didn't think you would like me as well."
I stopped to think. Then sat on the bed frowning.
"Because," he said patiently as he turned from the table to me, "You only see me as your rival before. It can get confusing when you feel something to someone that you can mistake from mere fondness, hatred or love… You've been looking at me as someone you need to surpass. I could not… let's say, accept rejection if I had told you… but lately I could not help being in love with you anymore."
I could feel my heart thumping hard against my chest. He had always liked me… and here I was… wondering why my love couldn't reach his heart when his love didn't reach mine… how awful it must have felt for him… for a long time.
"Tezuka." I said with my eyes on him. It was time to say it. "I really love you."
And those words meant a lot and worth all the trouble, because for the first time in my life, I saw Tezuka blush.
Thanks for Reading! ;)