WARNING: This was a request from my sister, so obviously there are some things you should be warned about. A VERY disturbed Tezuka! This has nothing to do with bashing, I DO like Tezuka, just be prepared for some freaky (way beyond dramatic) psychological, as well as physical, stuff.
Disclaimer: I don't own these character nor the anime they were taken from.
Naked, back turned to the door. On all fours, head facing the floor, gaping mouth, lips dripping with excessive saliva and very shallow breathing. The situation could have been misunderstood by the most pure hearted creature. Ironically it was dirty minded, sadistic Fuji Syuusuke who seemed to refer to it with the necessary seriousness, yet marked with his characteristic mocking way.
"Seems like your food didn't have a very safe trip to its destination, too much seasoning?" His voice sounded relaxed and even amused with the sight, but it had a bitter attacking edge to it.
"Mind your own business, Fuji. It's just the stress... or something I ate..." Another uncontrollable wave of vomit interrupted him. It was the third in a row.
"You WOULD be the only person who could suffer from stress outside competition and exams tim-" About to be interrupted, the cruel angel added the other's most used justification. "And I know you still have responsibilities outside evaluations and games, like the perfect student you are, and so on." He still behaved slightly matter-of-factly, but even though he didn't betray anything in his voice or tone, he registered the fact that the only thing escaping the other teen's mouth was mainly water and stomach acids.
"Good, we both agree, just leave it as it is then. I'll clean this in a second." Tezuka forced his frail body to stand, but still protected his stomach with his hands.
"Funny, most guys are shy about more private parts... not that you have anything to be shy about, of course!" There was something very wrong with his captain.
Fuji had noticed it some weeks ago, when Tezuka had started some very violent and sudden self training and showered only one hour after everyone had left. The trowing up part, he only knew thanks to Oishi. Always being physically closer to his best friend, he noticed it right away (also some weeks before), but he tried to reason with the captain before mixing more people in the affair. Not being able to go through the 'constant responsibility' answer, he changed his strategy, asking for Syuusuke's help. After insisting on the hidden details, the genius of Seigaku also found out that Tezuka used to visit Oishi at the most uncommon hours of the night, only the spend the whole night crying without saying anything else... nor eating for that matter. That was something that had called the attention of pretty much everyone in the team. Tezuka didn't bring his bento anymore, and his visits to any food selling place were always followed by a sudden and unjustified long lasting absence.
As he observed his captain getting dressed, Fuji kept the dirty mask of voyeuristic pleasure on, but inside there was an attentive scanner searching for any abnormalities. One thing didn't fit all these signs. Throwing up every day, one would suppose he would get a lot thinner very quickly, but that wasn't the case at all. Actually he wasn't getting any thinner, Fuji could see that the other's defined muscles were slowly being replaced by tender lazy meat and his skin was even getting brighter softer, something that shouldn't happen with such poor feeding habits.
Tezuka had his back turned to him, but catching a glimpse of his eyes in the mirror, his observer found what was getting more common in him these days, a gentle, calm and distracted look. Strangely enough that was what alerted him the most. He was used to his captains bad humor and somewhat aggressive behavior during training time, other than that he was just his usual cold self. Not these days anymore. His swings between gentleness and aggressiveness didn't take as much as a whole word to manifest, most times they were even completely unjustifiable and aleatory. Those absent-minded cold moments of pure contemplation didn't exist anymore also, Tezuka was either in absolute peace with the world or at an atomic war with it.
Before completely pulling his shirt down, apparently not noticing his teammate anymore, the taller man turned to grab his shoes. Fuji could only see some light pink mark, on his captain's stomach, before he turned to the wall again, muttering something in the lines of "catlike silent bastard". He decided to sting Tezuka a little to see if he could get some lights on the matter.
"Getting softer, are we not? Good choice, the extra exercise, you're kind of needing it." Fast as a sudden wind blow, he got dangerously close to his victim, swiftly brushing his hand from the taller one's left shoulder, all the way down to his fingers, pressing on the plump tender flesh on the arm as he passed by there.
He didn't get exactly what he wanted, but it was close enough.
"Stop it, ok? I'm already taking care of it! I know I'm not perfect, big news, who is?" Even though his yell was loud and powerful, his body language showed some signs of giving in. He was visibly tired, so weak he couldn't even move fast without supporting his small weight against the wall. In the psychological field, apparently, something was wearing him out just as bad as the exercise and bad feeding habits had.
"I, of all people, never said you had to be perfect Tezuka. Do you want to tell me who did?" His sweet tone caught the other one by surprise. He WAS in need of care, as he already had made a point of stating, with Oishi, but didn't seem to be on the breaking point yet.
From Fuji's experience, his captain was someone who dealt very well with pressure, work and responsibility, at least the humanly possible one. He also knew that once Tezuka broke, it was hard, not to say nearly impossible, for him to pull himself together in the usual time. In simpler words, as hard to break as to completely gather again. If something was getting him in that state, it had to be very serious, and most likely self directed. It wouldn't be the first time that Fuji saw his friend (unconsciously, as he insisted) depriving his body of something, to punish misguidance. Usually, though, Oishi took care of it with an efficiency any therapist would envy.
However, this case was different from the others, and Fuji wanted his beloved captain to know he could count on him too.
"Come have a sleepover at my place today, it's only me and my sister there tonight!" It was a cheerful order, but one that didn't invite to any denial nevertheless.
"I can't, it's a school night... my parents are at home." And why wouldn't they be? Why would it be surprising anyway? Something about the dropping tone on Tezuka's voice made Fuji's heart shrink. He had never had problems with restrictions like that before. Usually his parents allowed him to go to whomever's he wanted to, even during school nights, that's how much of a perfect child he was.
Wanting to insist further, the Syuusuke decided against it. He just offered to accompany his colleague home since he was so visibly weak. At first he found resistance from the other, but it was decided in his favor after it was made obvious he couldn't even walk for more than a couple of steps without help.
All the way to his house Tezuka was unusually talkative. He kept commenting on their school day and the team's general state, which left a little to be desired. After those bitter words under the showers, Fuji was expecting a heavy silence, but the sight of the bright crescent moon seemed to improve, by far, his teammate's mood. Indeed, his mood was so much lighter that when they arrived at their destination he was even invited for a tea inside.
"Please Fuji, accept it. I don't want you out in the streets this late at night, all by yourself. At least stay until a taxi arrives." How could Syuusuke resist to such a nice invitation? Tezuka was even smiling and had his calm aura all around. Fuji also wanted to check something with his captain's parents, so there was no way he would say no.
"Not like I mind being alone, but I'll accept anyway, I like being with you." He got closer, just enough to hold his companion's hand. Their relationship was always classified in that strange unclear status which, normally getting other people uncomfortable with, was perfect as it was for Fuji. Every time they held hands, the environment around them felt deliciously awkward and electrifying. However, that time it was more like some declaration of an eternal commitment. As soon as their hands touched Syuusuke felt his circulation being cut by a physical and emotional pressure. Something electrical passed between them alright, but it was nothing like the usual thing. What he felt was Tezuka begging not to be left alone again, as if he wanted to force his fated lover never to separate from him. For a second only, Fuji could feel all the those doubts and fears storming between their trembling hands, he felt nauseous and terrified, and, when it ended, he just wanted to make sure he wasn't alone.
If the captain noticed what had just happened, he didn't show it. The only thing he did was softly pulling his mate's wrist as he walked to the front door. He opened it himself and didn't announce his arrival, no wonder though, his house was dark and empty.
"Didn't you say something about your parents being at home?" The house smelled too clean and looked too white to be comfortable, There was no clue of any quotidian life in there, it looked like a strange hybrid between a hospital and a collection of pictures from decoration magazines.
"Oh, they are, but they're sleeping already. Grandfather is here too." Another strange thing to say since it was common knowledge that Tezuka's grandfather lived with him.
"So we'll have to be very silent, right?" His voice was lower, but he made it clear that he wanted to profit of that unexpected opportunity to pass some quality time alone with his 'friend'. Although judging by the other's body language and verbal answer, his intentions were misunderstood.
"Make as much noise you feel like, father is too tired to listen anything at all and mother takes pills to sleep, she sleeps all through the night." He was already getting in the kitchen to prepare the tea. "Could you call the taxi, or do you want me to do it for you?"
"I'll call my sister, she must be coming back from her job anyway." Picking the phone, he tried to keep the conversation as casual as possible and still satisfy his doubts. "What about your grandfather? Oishi told me he has a very light sleep, you know with his old age and all." It was a lie, but Fuji wanted to see just how much of Tezuka's speech was consistent enough to be trusted.
"Oh, grandfather is awake, but he won't bother us. He doesn't mind me bringing friends home too, he's nice." He was kind of absent-minded, but he didn't seem half as disturbed as in the locker-room.
"I see, so he's inside his room?" Fuji didn't like the fact that he couldn't see the other's eyes. The taller boy had his back turned to the phone table and, even while waiting for the water to boil, he wouldn't turn around to answer.
"He's inside, yes. He likes you a lot... he likes Oishi too." His voice was getting lower by the second, it was making the prettier shorter teen very uncomfortable. That and the fact that Tezuka kept the kitchen's lights off. On the other side of the phone, his sister piked up.
"Hey, nee-san! Would you mind picking me up on your way home? Yeah, I kind of strayed a little to Tezuka's house. Your know were it is? Cool, see you in some minutes... make it a long wait, ok?" He turned to his colleague, who was now facing him directly. It startled Fuji to see a blank stare in the place of the sweet expression he was already getting used to.
"You know, Fuji? I don't want to be impolite, and I DO like to have you here, but I'm a little tired, you see? So if you told your sister to hurry a bit, we could just have the tea and have our rest." He did seem more asleep than awaken. He also looked a bit annoyed all of a sudden, definitely he would never get used to those strange moods.
"Forget it honey, come and pick up me as soon as you can! Bye." He put the phone down. "Sorry for the bother, Tezuka, we both need our rest, you're absolutely right!" He grabbed the tray with the tea as soon as Tezuka tried to hold it himself, who knew just how weak he was.
The tea was left untouched until the end. They sat and talked for the most of the time. From his beloved, Fuji felt a very strong need of physical proximity and he wouldn't be the one to deny him that. Being such a strange night, as that was, it was the first time they shared more than a couple of gentle kisses in a row. When his sister rang the bell they were lying on the couch, and exchanging alternate deep and light kisses and caring caresses. I was strangely comforting, for both of them, to have Tezuka so tame and willing. He was briefly presented to Fuji's sister and didn't seem a slightest bit uncomfortable with the situation they were interrupted in. They held each other's hand before parting, it felt as a definitive goodbye to both of them.
Alone in his, now dark, living room, Tezuka cleaned everything up and went upstairs to his room. Before getting in, he looked at a small table with family photographs. Turning to a small black and white photograph he remembered the small memorial that was placed on the darkest side of the living room, close to the place his grandfather used to keep his Bonsai.
"Good night grandfather, sleep well." He knew he wasn't speaking to the cold dead photograph, nor to the depressing memorial. But it was very useful that his parents always thought so... he still didn't know what to do with himself.
His room was warmer than the rest of the house. Also, it wasn't as clean as it normally was... or as it would have been some weeks before, when grandfather was still alive... in that old body of his. As his parents were always repeating; "It was just a question of time, he was very old." It didn't make it any easier. For some days he thought he had lost his dear grandfather for good... such a cruel thing couldn't be excused with age alone.
Still he didn't know what to do. It was his fault his grandfather had died... he had panicked and couldn't call the ambulance in time. For the first days his parents blamed him for it too, they told him about how imperfect he was, how useless of a son and grandson he had been, of how he had killed his own flesh and blood because he was weak. On the day the man died, Tazuka's mother even yelled for him to be man enough and reverse what he had done, bringing the man back to life. After the family therapy, though, they just resigned to the age excuse. But Tezuka knew, deep inside, that they still blamed him... his weakness for what happened.
The therapist had told him he was not weak, and that, if he wished to believe it, his grandfather was still there, with them, protecting them. He just had to show his inner strength and accept his new, but not less real, presence.
He wanted to be strong, but he was scared. It didn't feel natural, he felt like he was dirty and unworthy of his grandfather's presence. He couldn't keep up with all that pressure and hidden fear by himself. Sometimes he went to Oishi, just to cry his frustration out. But his friend wanted to help more than Tezuka was willing to accept and he soon gave up those small moments of relieve too. Passing by the food he had stored in his room his picked a bottle of milk and a bread, he was hungry. It was only then that he noticed he was already working his way through a candy bar... he hated when those things happened...
He felt it again, grandfather was touching him... it was an alien touch, not the heavy hand he was used to. That wasn't his grandfather, it was someone... something else. He threw the food to the floor and grabbed a x-acto knife from over his tall mirror and undressed, facing it. He could read it perfectly; 'Sin lives here.'
He felt it again, he was sure he was not alone then. He held the blade for dear life. He had to be strong, strong to accept his grandfather or to send that other presence away, but he had to be strong... Cutting through the tender flesh he saw the warm blood leaving the body faster than it should. That wasn't right, he only wanted to make sure if it was the same blood as his own, he never had the intention to kill.
Being faster this time he dialed the number to call an ambulance. He considered calling his parents, to help grandfather, but he decided that it was his problem to deal with, anyway his parents would take hours to arrive from the relatives they were visiting... out of a habit of lying to his neighbors and teachers, he noticed he had also lied to Fuji. He would forgive him...
The talk with the nice nurse, on the phone, was fast and efficient, she seemed a little confused with the reason of the call, but her voice was urgent enough for him to understand the ambulance was on the way.
Everything was getting cold and dark he felt the floor hit his knees. He didn't remember a lot after that, before his head landing on the hard wood, only looking in the mirror again and reading those scary words once more; 'Sin lives here.' When the paramedics arrived he was only able to, very faintly, give his name and contact of an older person. Then, everything turned silent.
Arriving home, Fuji couldn't help but notice how warm and inviting it was compared to Tezuka's. Not feeling like eating, he went to his room without dining and just lie on his bed without undressing. He didn't feel like sleeping either. His lover occupied every inch of his mind, he was very worried about the state he had let him in. At first it had sounded like a rational idea, but now he had his doubts that it had been such a good thing to leave him alone in that place. He started to doubt if Tezuka's family was really home, or if he had just told it not to have to deal with more questions.
He didn't know how much time he spent just laying there, thinking of those nice moments he had shared with Kunimitsu... and their goodbyes. When he finally decided it was ridiculous to keep wondering he dialed Tezuka's number and waited, he had to talk with him, just to know he was alright. At the same time, he heard heavy footsteps pounding on the stairs and opened his door to see what had happened.
What he found his sister lost in tears and overall panicking.
"Yuuta is... Yuuta is... Oh my God Syuusuke, Yuuta is in the hospital!" She didn't make it to the top of the stairs and just dropped nearly fainting on the middle of the way.
Forgetting everything else, Fuji dropped his phone and held his sister. He didn't know what to say, but he knew they couldn't let themselves be controlled by fear.
"Yumiko, calm down, we have to go there. Don't call mom just yet, you know she'll be too worried, and maybe it's nothing, let's try to solve this on our own!" He wanted to call for someone to take them, but his sister didn't want to hear any of it. In her opinion no driver would make it as fast as she would. She was right, of course, but on the way she could have killed a good dozen people with the speed she was driving at. Clearly though, none of them was as important as Yuuta anyway.
In the hospital, the first person allowed in was his sister, Fuji didn't argue with that. He was more patient than her, she would die with anxiety if she didn't, fast enough, see how serious the damage was.
Syuusuke waited for what seemed like ours. When his sister came out of the room she still had tears on her face, but the rest of it was divided, in a very hard conflict, between pain and relieve. She didn't tell Fuji anything, she only told it was very bad and that Yuuta was just fine, then she just started crying again. It just didn't make sense.
He was authorized to get in, but not before being advised to be ready for a very unpleasant sight.
When he got inside the disinfected room he understood what the doctors were talking about. His sister was right also, Yuuta was fine. In front of him, with the name of his brother written on a medical process, attached to the end of the bed, was someone he loved equally strongly, but not his brother. Tezuka was unconscious, but Fuji didn't have the stomach to ask if it was the doctors' doing or his own. The only thing his brain could process, for some long minutes, were the red bloody words, marked on his body, being cleaned by the nurses. 'Sin lives here.'
"It was cut over a very fragile area, on already previously scarred skin. He gave us quite a scare, but he's going to be alright. You were all very lucky, it could have meant death if he hadn't called the ambulance right away." The doctor had a nice strong voice, it was soothing and warm. But, for some reason, Fuji didn't feel lucky at all.
Ignoring the protests of the nurses, Fuji got closer to his beloved's side. He touched his face and saw it reacting. Tezuka opened his eyes slowly and lazily.
"What have you done, love? Why?" He couldn't help but ask, he knew he probably shouldn't, but he wanted to help, and it just left his mouth, together with a very weak trembling voice.
Tezuka didn't seem scared, nor did he seem mad or happy. He was visibly sad, but there was something of his old controlled, sane, self that mad Fuji release a breath he didn't know he was holding.
"I'm sorry Syuusuke, I didn't want to scare you or your sister, I just couldn't call my parents and it was only natural, for me, to talk about your family as mine." His eyes opened wider. Just with that small gesture, his sanity seemed lost once more. He held Fuji's hand and pressed it over his wounded stomach, before continuing with a less understandable speech. "I did it Syuusuke... I did it. I killed my grandfather once, but I saved him this time." Against the efforts of the nurses, and Fuji himself, there was no way to remove his hand without hurting Tezuka. "You see, he lives... I thought it was something else, but it's him! I just have to be strong enough to bear the burden of his rebirth... mother said, mother asked me to be man enough to bring him back to life." The doctor was already calling for a psychiatrist and getting the anesthetics ready. Tezuka's breathing and heartbeat got a lot more erratic. "I told you he is inside... HE IS! I thought it was something bad... A SIN, I didn't understand it at first, but it's alright, it's really him. And he likes you... a lot Fuji, I tell him about you and Oishi all the time, and he can hear you when we're at school." They had been forced away from each other in the moment when Tezuka tried to touch his own belly, relaxing the hand that held his lover captive. But still, he didn't quiet down. "You're helping me Syuusuke, I know you are. I can't do it without you... I CAN'T HAVE IT WITHOUT YOU... I can't birth it without you! We'll raise him from the beginning, our own baby grandfather, PLEASE!"
Fuji didn't know who was holding him, but he silently thanked for the strong arms keeping him standing, and the chair that followed. Seeing the man he loved in that state made him loose all the strength he thought he had. How did nobody notice what was happening to him before? Tezuka had trusted them to keep him safe, to take care of him, the same way he did with them. He had gone to his best friend for help numerous times, he had even asked for Fuji to keep him company. His behavior showed it all. And they just waved it all off with their captain's temperament, as a reason, and believed in his half heartedly told excuses... it was all their fault.
But Fuji was strong, guilt wouldn't prevent him from working, it would only remind him of his own sin for his whole life. When he saw the man he loved calm down under the needle, he prepared everything to take him out of that disgusting hospital. He didn't even hesitate nor fought against the idea of calling his friends to tell them what happened. It was everybody's fault, and they would have to deal with it the same way he did, acting. Some of them didn't know how to react, most were shocked to the point of silence or tears, but two of them were his allies in that hard time. One was Atobe, providing all the money and specialized help Tezuka would need, the other was Sanada, who offered to talk with Tazuka's family and get him to live at Fuji's while he was still sick. The sick captain was out of the hospital, off to a private one owned by Atobe's family, in less than an hour.
Tezuka was that kind of person. Once he broke, putting him together is nearly impossible. But, in Fuji's opinion, nearly no chances was space enough to work with, he would put all those pieces together. And Tezuka was right, Syuusuke was there to help him go through with that problem, even if that meant having to go along with his imagination for some time, just to make sure he took it slowly. He would go with him until the end, whatever that would be.