DISCLAIMER: I don't own Prince of Tennis
While the original idea of this story is to focus on Yukimura and Tezuka's story, I'd have to say that along the way, Fuji and Sanada seemed to draw more attention than the former. For some reasons, their characters combined were more than likeable than what I expected.
And yes, perhaps after all, I never did justice to Yukimura or Tezuka.
Nevertheless, I'm intending to end the story like how I thought of it should be. So it's either this would turn out to be just the right one, or end up crap,…we'll see later.
I thank everyone for another great journey!
Yukimura headed out of the campus, but stopped fast as his eyes caught Sanada just at their school entrance. A blink was all he needed to snap the sudden rise of irritation upon the realization that his vice-captain was not alone. He was with Fuji; casually engaged in conversation, though it was apparent that the two was just trying not to be so obvious about how they want to bring the conversation to somewhere else. Yukimura gave a disapproving look before moving on.
Sanada spotted him few steps away and just stared. Fuji who also did just smiled. Fake.
Yukimura acknowledged his vice-captain with a simple nod, before returning Fuji's smile. Uninterested.
It took most of his will not to turn back and ask Sanada to accompany him to the subway. Yukimura is demanding, selfish and rude. He knew that himself. But seeing how happy and comfortable Sanada looked every time he's with Fuji, the blue-haired captain couldn't muster any sort of strength to pull him away from that luxury. Even he, respects that.
He headed home with a heavy feeling, pondering what else he could do to free himself from the growing pain.
Tezuka dried his hair off. He had just finished taking a shower, and was now debating whether or not he'll go straight to bed, or would start doing his tasks scheduled tomorrow. Sometimes, even making this simple decision feels difficult.
He went for the first idea and slammed himself down on bed. His mind slowly drifted off to Yukimura, and then to Fuji, then back to Yukimura, and finally to himself. Tezuka never gave much thought about it, but he actually kept on refusing to face his situation; that of how he felt obligated to make Yukimura feel better, and that of how he would act naturally in front of Fuji without breaching the gap between their reestablished friendship. It only became more difficult because of his refusal to admit that he was being stupid for being uncertain of how he feels.
Tezuka shifted on bed and laid on his side. Even if he manages the tennis team very well, it doesn't mean he was doing well the same with his personal life. Because honestly, Tezuka felt like stupid and lost.
He shut his eyes and forced himself to sleep, all the while fighting the tightening despair he felt.
Sanada savored the feel of the handmade bracelet Fuji had given him on the way home. He remembered him say it's a promise.
'….that we'll stay together until we get tired of loving…' Fuji said back then.
Sanada smiled. Even if he knew he doesn't yet own Fuji's heart completely, he knew the other was trying his very best to move on, and Sanada has made his resolve to give him some more time. It might take more months, even years, and he just knew he wouldn't be giving up along those times.
When he saw how Yukimura looked at him earlier, Sanada's heart skipped a beat. Not just because it was basically the first time their captain had really tried to see through him, but more on the fact that he saw an air of vulnerability on that 'stare'. Fuji never noticed, but Sanada had to brush away the urge to call out for Yukimura just when he was turning his back on them.
He had to.
Sanada drew out a heavy breath.
Seiichi Yukimura has always been formidable.
But it seemed like he's finally starting fall.
Sanada could just leave and watch; act as if everything's going back to normal after a day or two; pretend to be unaffected; stay personally detached on their captain's life.
Yet he wouldn't.
Fuji has always hated the feeling of being betrayed. For him it's a weakness; a vulnerability that could never be alleviated by a simple apology or flattery. He felt betrayed for numerous times already and he dreaded it. It's the same reason why he shut off his world for this matter, and preferred living in a life of subtle pretension and deceit.
But he knew things have changed. Maybe not everything, but a lot. All because Sanada barged in his life like a raging snowstorm who was unconsciously knocking off Fuji's balance on solid ground.
Sanada saw through his pretensions better than anybody who's tried. More importantly, he provided a dose of blissful antidote to the pains caused by Tezuka.
Fuji knew a mere gratitude might never be enough. So what he was doing now is tantamount to a crime.
He knocked his head several times on his desk. He was supposed to study, yet the only thing..or the only person that disrupted him from gaining higher grades than his already excellent ones, was the same person who was not exactly whom he was supposed to be thinking.
Fuji shut his eyes.
'….just leave…' he mentally prayed. '….just go and get lost….' he added, pushing Tezuka's image off his mind.
To Fuji, betraying Sanada by having another man on his mind is a grave crime. But even if this is completely against his will, he couldn't do anything.
He tried! The heavens knew how hard Fuji tried. He did everything. Still nothing seemed to work.
"Damn it, Tezuka…" he cursed, biting his lower lip to prevent himself from screaming in desperation.
Moving on from your first crush and first love surely is more difficult than a mastery exam in Advanced Calculus.
"For good, yes." Tezuka said with a short smile. He half expected an outburst from Fuji. After all, he kept his plan to himself. Even his family didn't know about the decision.
Tezuka nodded. "I don't want to make a fuss about it. I'll leave after graduation."
"A week more to go." Fuji mumbled, looking away with a smile. He had wanted to ask a lot of questions; Tezuka's reason of leaving, place he plans to stay, degree he wants to take up on college…Fuji wanted to ask. But he didn't.
"How about your family?" he asked instead.
"They're fine. They're staying for business."
They stood immobile in front of each other for a couple of seconds. To Fuji, not only was the news of Tezuka's departure a shock. It was out of the whole picture. Even if they've set a boundary between their relationship to favor what they thought was better for the both of them, Fuji had never thought of the possibility of Tezuka leaving them; leaving him. It was all too sudden.
Despite all of his questions and confusion, Fuji knew better not ask.
"We're going to miss you." he said with an open-eyed smile. After another moment of silence, Fuji took a step forward and offered his captain a hug.
Tezuka returned the hug and tilted his head to the side as he inhaled the scent of Fuji's hair; a gesture he had never done before; never dared to do before.
When Fuji started to pull away, Tezuka held him still.
"I want us both to have time." he mumbled.
Fuji frowned, but didn't push himself away.
"I'll come back…and by then I need your answer." Tezuka continued, now loosening his hug on the other guy.
Fuji slowly pushed himself an inch away, just enough for him to look straight at Tezuka's eyes.
"I don't understand."
Tezuka stared at him with confusion and a look of slight desperation. "Me neither."
"Can you stay with me?" Tezuka asked, eyes fixed on Fuji's.
Fuji stared in disbelief. If Tezuka was just saying this because he was leaving and that he wouldn't want him to feel bad, then he didn't really like it. He slowly shook his head and smiled.
"You don't need to give me your answer now. I'll be back. Only then will I hear you say it."
"No. Don't do this."
"I'll come back Fuji." Tezuka said, hesitated, before he took a step back and left.
Fuji stared at his retreating figure dumbfounded.
"I've heard you're going to the same school as Fuji's." Yukimura said with a smile.
Sanada and he were inside a train heading to their school and the bluenette had to thank the heavens that today's not at all busy. At least he would have a comfortable trip this time.
Yukimura hummed in what sounded like an affirmation. Sanada didn't dare to look at his captain's direction, and instead directed his guys on the outside view, looking at nothing in particular.
"You take care of yourself Seiichi.." he muttered, not expecting any response.
Yukimura darted an amused glare. "I can take care of myself."
Sanada hesitated, but nodded. He didn't know why he was feeling uneasy with the conversation. He knew for a fact that this could be the last time they'll really talk with each other, and he planned it to be decent, not bitter, not distant.
The rest of the travel to school went on in silence. Sanada didn't try to initiate anymore conversation for he knew Yukimura valued silence at the moment. He just knew.
"I'm going this way." Yukimura said, indicating that he would have to a separate building to attend to his own business at the faculty's office.
Sanada nodded and watched as his captain took his leave. He didn't move from his position and just stared at his back.
Yukimura Seiichi; his captain, his bestfriend in some ways; his first love.
Sanada had long concluded that if he could only dictate his feelings to do what his brain was telling him, he would have to insist on loving the blue-haired guy. He'd stay beside him for a very long time, and Sanada knew it was something. Maybe not as intimate as what he had wished for, but it was something. He, at least, couldn't take that for granted. He could never take that for granted.
Just as he was about to go his way, Yukimura stopped on his tracks, hesitated and turned around in time to catch Sanada's stare which was still directed at him. They held their gazes for each other; not saying anything but coming into mutual understanding about each other's situation. It might be theoretically impossible but they can communicate that way; no words, just gestures and behavior. And Sanada could bet that was how it worked as well for Fuji and Tezuka. He thought it was mysterious, even weird. But it worked. For years.
He turned on his heels and went his way. He clutched his duffel bag tighter.
So why not fall for Yukimura?
Sanada smiled in disagreement when he finally had his answer.
You can be free, yet his grip's too tight that it hurts.
What? A sequel you say?
Uh..yeah that's a good idea. But I'll have to leave that to you guys.
Right now, 'Why Not Yukimura's taking its final bow!
I'd like to thank those who followed this story, and those who were randomly reading each chapter! Thank you for the reviews, suggestions, rants, violent reaction, and all!
Cheers! It was a fun experience!
And of course, for this story's followers:
kitty cat lysanne,
My heartfelt gratitude! I'd love to hear from you again!