Disclaimer: I do not own the Prince of Tennis. By writing this piece of fanfiction, I do not claim it for any commercial use, and it is meant to be read by fans, for no charge. The Prince of Tennis belongs to Konomi Takeshi. Any original characters will be stated as such.
Title: Swallow's Song, Eagle's Eye: Chapter 9 – Swallow's Shock, Eagle's Hatred
Chapter Rating: T
"Good afternoon to you as well, Commander Sanada," Fuji replied coolly, leaning against the trunk of a tree, hidden by the shade of its leaves. "I trust you are doing well?"
Sanada's eyes narrowed, even as his hand moved to the katana by his side. "Where is the Emperor?"
Laughing sweetly, Fuji gazed at the naive Commander. Did he really think that he would release the Emperor just because the Commander asked him to? Or actually tell him where his captive was when he had gone through so much just to capture him in the first place? Honestly. "My dear, dear Commander, did you really expect me to answer your question?"
Keeping silent, Sanada stared at the other. It didn't matter how much the once concubine made fun of him, as long as he could find the Emperor, he would go through anything, even be degraded by the enemy. Granted, he was a very proud man, but this was the Emperor, his best friend, and he if he didn't find a way to get him back, then he wasn't Sanada Genichirou.
"Well, anyway, that wasn't my point in coming here," Fuji stated cheerfully. He pushed himself off the tree with one swift kick, daggers flashing out from under the sleeves of his robe, striking.
Forever the quick Commander, Sanada's katana was unsheathed, just in time to parry the attack that otherwise would have taken his head off. "Why are you here, then?"
Fuji's eyes flashed at the question, as though he had thought that Sanada already knew why he was here – wasn't it obvious, really? There was only one reason that he would actually bother to visit this man – and should have given him a proper explanation.
"What did you do to Seiichi?"
"I asked you what you did!" Fuji screamed, slashing his daggers in a blue glowing cross, before sending it flying towards the Commander. Sanada held the palm of his hand across his blade, bringing it up to his face to block the attack as much as he could. He was at a clear advantage here, he could tell, since Fuji apparently, like Yukimura, was well-versed with magic. He, however, was not, and could only depend on his physical abilities. "He came to me, yesterday, and he was empty!"
Sanada grit his teeth as he continued to parry with Fuji. "He betrayed this country. As a citizen of Japan, he should have-"
"Yukimura isn't from Japan!"
That stopped Sanada short. "Wha-" A blast of wind knocked the Commander off of his feet, sending him flying into a tree. He cringed at his injuries, then struggled to stand. "T-Tarundoru..."
"Commander, you're hurt," Yagyuu said, appearing beside the raven haired male. "Niou, take him to camp to rest." He ran his hand over the Commander's injuries, feeling them, a small frown on his face. Unsheathing his own katana, Yagyuu stood in front of Sanada. "Go, Commander."
Sanada glared at Yagyuu as though he had been asked to swallow a jar of beetles. "No. Yagyuu, get out of the way." He tried to stand, but in the end fell to the ground again, groaning from his injuries, which seemed to be getting worse by the second – and they were.
Fuji giggled, "Yes, Yagyuu, get out of the way~ Adults have work to do, you know."
Raising an eyebrow, Yagyuu kicked off from the ground, flying towards the brown haired male. "If I remember correctly, Fuji-san, I am older than you are." His katana sliced through the air, carving a way for him towards Fuji even with the wind that his opponent was using to attack him with.
Gritting his teeth, Fuji continued their murderous dance, sending blasts of wind from all directions at the General. 'How does he know how to evade my magic...?'
"Niou!" Yagyuu called, not breaking concentration from the battle. "Bring the Commander back to his tent! Now!"
Eyes narrowed, Niou nodded, half dragging his pained superior onto his back, and rushing towards camp as quickly as he could. Damn, Sanada was heavy – all the muscle mass making him heavier than the average man.
"I apologise, Fuji-san," Yagyuu said, parrying and blocking the attacks, once he had made sure that Niou and Sanada were out of sight, "But playtime is over." He brought his katana back, then thrust it forward at once, sending a blinding ray of light at the other. "Laser Beam," He murmured under his breath.
Caught off guard by the sudden use of magic, Fuji was thrown back by the startingly fast beam. He managed to pull up a half-formed shield in front of him, blocking the worst of the damage. Energy sapped, he opened his eyes to glare with full intensity at the General. "You..."
He caught a glimpse of Yagyuu's eyes behind his glasses, however, and his eyes widened. Pushing himself onto his elbows, Fuji whispered, "Impossible."
"Anything is possible, my dear High Priest," Yagyuu replied coolly, sheathing his katana, then turned around to leave. "I hope you've been doing well."
"Why did you leave, Tyron Rye?"
Yagyuu stiffened, said nothing, then continued walking back to camp.
Why did you leave, Tyron Rye?
Yagyuu walked back to camp, to see Niou just coming out of Sanada's tent. He received a nod from his partner, who then raised an eyebrow at him. "Did you take care of him? Fuji, I mean."
Pushing up his glasses, Yagyuu kept silent again. Niou sighed and pat Yagyuu on the back. "Be careful, alright, Hiroshi? Don't keep beating yourself up about it, it wasn't your fault, back then."
But it was, Yagyuu thought, You don't know, Masaharu, because I haven't told you anything. But it is my fault. All of this is.
Fuji seethed, tending to his own injuries as he leaned against the trunk of the tree. A shower of yellow sparkles in front of him told him who was coming, and he averted his gaze from the furious bluenette in front of him.
"Syuusuke," Yukimura started, his smile sickeningly sweet. "May I ask what you were doing, telling Sanada-san about me?"
When Yukimura was in that kind of mood, it was probably not good for anyone to be anywhere near him at all. Unfortunately, Fuji didn't have enough magic at the moment to heal himself and get the hell out of there as quickly as possible. It was either he get out, of he heal himself. Not wanting to spend the rest of his time cringing in pain from Yagyuu's attack, he settled for healing himself.
"It's rude to ignore someone when they're talking to you, Syuusuke, didn't you know?" Yukimura continued, his eyes flashing in anger. "Why did you tell Sanada-san?"
"Because he's a dense idiot," Fuji retorted. "He's retarded, he's stupid, and he doesn't even know what's going on. And then he blames you for it. None of this was your fault. It was my fault, and he acts as if the world is behind you, and against him. I've never seen you so upset, Seiichi," His voice suddenly went low. "I've never seen you so upset, and it's all because of me."
Yukimura took a breath, as though to calm himself down, but in reality he had no idea what to say to that. As much as he wanted to deny it, what Fuji said was true, and Yukimura was not one to deny the truth when it was right in his face. Even if denying it would make Fuji feel slightly better, in the long run the brunette would just feel that much worse because he would know that his best friend had lied for him.
No matter what he had done, Yukimura didn't want that for Fuji.
"I'm sorry, Seiichi," Fuji whispered. "Nothing is going right, is it? I'm being an idiot."
Giggling to break the sombre mood, and causing Fuji to look up, Yukimura smiled. "Yes, you are, Syuusuke. You're being an idiot."
A small, sad smile made its way to Fuji's lips. "I know."
Holding out his hand for his friend, Yukimura pulled him up. "I'll bring us back. Honestly, Syuusuke, you owe me for this."
"I hate your brand of magic," Fuji pouted.
Sticking his tongue out at Fuji, Yukimura blew a raspberry, just like he had when they were children. "Tough. You're the one who came here and blew all your magic on blocking that attack. Now you're going to have to suffer for it."
Fuji cringed, then hid his face in the taller's chest. Yukimura's magic sucked, but only to those he was bringing along. All senses were lost, and he could hear, couldn't see, his senses impaired. It was a terrifying experience, even for the most frequent magic users. Yukimura wasn't affected by this, probably because he was the host for the magic. He didn't know how long it had been, not knowing anything, but they eventually came to rest on the field Yukimura had been looking at Sanada from.
"It was only a few seconds, Syuusuke, come on," Yukimura pinched his cheek playfully.
Shrugging, he walked down towards the cell, intending to check on Tezuka for a while, before coming up to spend his time with Yukimura. "You're one to talk. You don't even know what it feels like."
Fuji gave Yukimura a little wave, before disappearing down the stairs to Tezuka's cell. He played with his magic a little, sending them to the candles on the walls and making them burn a little brighter. He put on a fake, cheery smile when he saw Tezuka, leaning against the wall with his eyes open.
"Good afternoon, your majesty," Fuji trilled. "Did you have a nice meal? I trust you finished all of it. It took a long time to prepare it, so I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did."
All of Tezuka's initial thoughts about talking civilly to Fuji disappeared from his mind. His conversation with Yukimura had led him to believe that it was Fuji would cleaned his wounds, after he'd been tortured both with the whip and the salt, but from the way he was talking now, Tezuka doubted very much that it was Fuji who had helped him. There was no way that his cold blooded person would ever help him.
"I enjoyed it very much, thank you for asking," Tezuka replied. He hadn't been saying anything to Fuji's questions and snide remarks, but he would no longer act the docile, submissive little child who gave in to everything their master said without quesiton. "Did you come down here to bring me dessert, perhaps? I would appreciate it."
Pausing at Tezuka's sudden hostility towards him, Fuji's mind went into overdrive. Did Tezuka already hate him that much? Or was Tezuka planning something? Had he found a way to alert Sanada, and inform him of where he was? To be perfectly honest, Fuji had no idea what he wanted to do with Tezuka, to keep him here forever, or to kill him when he got bored, and he was afraid of anything that might possibly happen to the Emperor.
Trying to be slightly less violent, Fuji paced towards Tezuka. "Is there anything you would prefer, then?"
Chuckling to himself as though Fuji had just made a joke that he found amusing, Tezuka shook his head. "Nothing, dear Syuusuke. Perhaps I would wish for the old you to return, but now I'm starting to realise that he never existed in the beginning."
No! Fuji wanted to cry. He does exist, he does, it's just that I'm confused and I don't know if I want to hurt you more, or if I want to stay with you forever more, and please Kunimitsu, please don't do this to me. Even though I don't know what to do, having you hate me like this would be ten times more painful than killing you.
At this, Fuji could say nothing. He wanted to deny it, but knew that at this point in time, whatever he said would make no difference to the other. He had betrayed his trust, betrayed his love when he was the only one that the Emperor had ever dared to open himself up to, there was obviously no way that he would be forgiven easily, if at all.
"I'm being serious," Fuji said. "If there's anything you need..."
He hadn't expected Tezuka to start laughing hysterically. He had heard the Emperor's chuckle, and heard him snigger once or twice, and had seen him smile, but never had he heard the man's laughter. Especially one that was so cynical, so sarcastic it was almost as though it could slice through his bones. Did Tezuka already hate him that much?
"No, Syuusuke, no, there's nothing I need. There's a lot that I want, because yes, despite everything, I am a selfish man. But no, Syuusuke, there is nothing of great importance that I need.
Why am I treating like this? Tezuka thought. Why am I trying so hard to push him away when he's trying to make peace with me? Is it because I don't feel secure? Or that I feel he would deceive me again, and use this as a reason to make fun of me, and chide me for my emotional weaknesses? Syuusuke, why did you have to do this to me?
Sighing deeply, Fuji nodded. "Very well, then. I try to speak with you, not as equals, perhaps, but I was being civil. If this is the way you retort, then I'd rather we not speak at all." The brunette turned swiftly, trying to contain the tears that were threatening to spill, and walked out.
After the door closed behind him, Tezuka punched the wall.
"Oh Tyron, we're so proud of you. You've finally managed to enter the High Army of England, and as a Combat Captain as well. We didn't think you'd make it this far, but we're still so, so proud of you."
"You've done your old man proud, son. Keep this up, especially when you're in battle, okay? Show the Generals what you can do, and one day you'll be a fine Commander, that I can confirm."
Tyron stood in front of the mirror, his brown hair neat as always. He pushed his spectacles up, adjusting them so that he had almost perfect eyesight, and nodded. "I will, father, mother. I won't disappoint you."
His father came up to him, and ruffled his perfect hair, to which he jerked away and frowned at the older. "Father, please!"
"So stiff, my son," His father chuckled, "Very well, Tyron, we won't keep you. You'll be busy in the army, but remember to come back and visit your old folks once in a while, yea?"
A smile, and Tyron turned to his parents. "Of course."
"Wake up, Yagyuu!"
"Father? Mother?" Tyron asked, frowning. His parents turned to each other, and shrugged at him. "Did you say something?"
"Yagyuu, come on!"
"That voice, where's it coming from?"
"Tyron, there isn't any voice."
With a start, Yagyuu woke up, sweat beading on his forehead. He could vividly remember his dream – no, not a dream, but a memory – and he curled in on himself, not wanting to let Niou see him so vulnerable.
"Hiroshi, come on," Niou whispered, gently kissing his forehead. "If you don't want to tell me anything, that's fine, but don't shut me out like this. Let me help."
Slowly, almost excruciatingly slowly, Yagyuu uncurled himself, falling into his lover's embrace. Niou rubbed his back, calming him down some, and pushed his fringe away from his face. A small sigh to show how exasperated he was, and Niou pressed a small, chaste kiss to his lips. "Are you all right, Hiroshi? You've been having these nightmares for some time, haven't you?"
He didn't want to reveal anything, when he hadn't told Niou the whole truth – he'd told Niou nothing close to the whole truth, even though they were lovers, because Yagyuu was insecure, and so, so afraid that when he did, Niou would leave him.
"Yes, I, I'm quite fine, Masaharu, thank you," Yagyuu said, falling back onto his bed and pulling Niou down with him. "I'm fine, really. Don't worry yourself too much about me, okay?"
Niou wanted to flick Yagyuu's forehead. "How can I not worry? Ever since the Emperor went missing, you've been acting weirder and more secretive. You're not telling me things, Hiroshi, and to be honest, it's getting on my nerves."
"I'm sorry, Masaharu," Yagyuu replied. "I'm sorry, but I can't tell you."
"Syuusuke?" Yukimura asked, concerned, when Fuji came out of the cell, almost crying. He could see the tears threatening to fall, and he ran forward to hold his best friend. "What's wrong?"
Sniffling, Fuji hid his face in Yukimura's chest, trusting in his best friend to let him cry, and not make fun of him for it. "He hates me, Seiichi," Fuji choked out, "Kunimitsu hates me, and I don't know what to do."
Yukimura had expected this to happen, of course, no one could be tortured, especially by the one they loved for so long, and not hate them, no matter how strong their mutual feelings had been. Fuji, after all, had not given the Emperor any clue that he still loved him – or had loved him at all. He'd been lied to, or so he thought, betrayed, kidnapped, and then torutured and almost killed, all by the man he believed loved him.
The Emperor was a ticking time bomb that had just detonated.
He'd try to slow it down, really, and he thought he'd succeeded, after speaking to the Emperor in a series of metaphors to inform the ruler that Fuji did not actually wish to cause him harm, even though he may think so. Perhaps his reaction was because he'd been pushed too far by Fuji, and had begun to think that everything the petite brunette did was just to mess with him.
It wasn't impossible, for him to think that way.
"It'll be fine, Syuusuke, it'll be fine. His majesty doesn't hate you, he just doesn't understand why you're being hot and cold towards him. He's afraid, Syuusuke, and you know you have no one but yourself to blame for that."
"I know, but it hurts so much, Seiichi," Fuji wiped his tears with the back off his hands, pulling away. "I don't know what to do now."
"It'll be okay, Syuusuke," Yukimura smiled, "It'll be okay."
Yukimura isn't from Japan!
What did Fuji mean by that? Sanada knew that the assassins were not from Japan – that much was for certain, and Fuji himself wasn't. No one had eyes that blue, after all.
Eyes... That blue...
Yukimura wasn't from Japan. Eyes any shade of blue was not native to Japan, especially ones that were as bright as the two concubines. How could he have been that stupid, that naive, when he'd been studying this for the past seven years? He'd majored in international communication before he'd joined the army, and that was a huge part of the reason he'd been made Commander in the first place.
One man he did not doubt, however, was Niou. Although his General had eyes that looked as though they were not Japanese, the trickster was native bred, through and through. He knew, as well, that Yagyuu was not from Japan – the gentleman had himself, told him that – and he didn't hold it against the other.
It seemed fitting, for Yagyuu to have Japanese features while not having been born in Japan, and for Niou to have foreign features when he was native to the country. It seemed so very them.
Back to the point, however, Yukimura was so obviously not from Japan, now that he thought about it, without anyone to distract him, and without any anger clouding his judgement. Which meant that, technically, he hadn't betrayed his country in any way, he hadn't been disloyal, because he wasn't from here, in fact, Yukimura might have been loyal to his own country by kidnapping the Emperor.
Then there was that point.
Whether or not he'd been loyal to his own country, Yukimura had kidnapped Sanada's Emperor, Sanada's best friend since young, and that in itself was unforgivable. No matter how much Sanada loved him, no matter how much Sanada wanted to hold him in his arms and tell him that he'd been forgiven, Sanada knew he couldn't.
How could he?
He lay on his makeshift bed, staring up at the ceiling of his tent. "Seiichi," He whispered, testing out the name, liking the way it rolled off his tongue so very, very naturally. "Seiichi."
Fuji smiled up at his best friend, thanking him for the comfort. He'd been about to get some food for the both of them when they heard a loud crash in the cell, like chains being broken. Stiffening, the two ran into the cell, only to see an unconscious Emperor being lifted up onto the shoulder of a large man, and a smaller, lithe figure standing beside him. The light prevented him from seeing who they were.
"Who are you?" Fuji asked, eyes opened and blazing. "Let go off him!"
The lithe figure moved forward, almost into the light, and took out a small roll of parchment.
"By order of the High King of England, his royal majesty, Emperor of Japan, is to be freed from captivity by High Priest, and by connection, the High Wizard. Any attempts to continue harming or killing of the Emperor will be punishable by death."
"Both the High Priest and High Wizard are to immediately return to the Palace for further investigations, and have both been stripped of their duties until further notice. Any attempts to communicate with other members under both parties will be punishable by exile. Atobe Keigo, High King of England. We will require verbal confirmation from both parties."
Fuji seethed. How dare the King do this to him? He had served him for so many years, since he was but a mere child, even, and this was how the Kind repayed him? By taking away his most prized possession, by taking away the man he loved?
"How did you break through my bonds?" Fuji asked. "The chains have been enchanted such that the only thing that may release the Emperor his my own brand of magic. Whoever you are, you're not powerful enough to do something like that."
And 'usu' was all the answer Fuji needed to hear. Of course, Kabaji. He'd seen him work his magic hundreds upon thousands of times, of course he would know how to exactly copy his own brand of magic.
"Order accepted," Yukimura's voice sounded in the cell. "Yukimura Seiichi, High Wizard of England."
The figure nodded, then turned, almost expectantly to Fuji. "And you?"
A deep, exasperated, angry breath later, and Fuji spoke. "Order accepted. Fuji Syuusuke, High Priest of England."
A nod, and the two turned away to open a portal back to the Palace. Fuji, however, stalled them with a question. "Wait. Who are you?"
"Not you, Kabaji!" Fuji almost screamed in fury, but Yukimura giggled. "I meant the other one!"
The figure slowed down, and slowly, very slowly, turned around. He took a few hesitant steps into the light, the edge of his face illuminated, until he finally bit his lip and revealed his identity, causing both magic users to stumble back in shock.
Dark blue eyes looked at the two, childish innocence erased from his expression. "Kikumaru Eiji, acting High Priest of England."
Author's notes: I am taking Atobe's appearance by manga canon, in which he has blond hair and blue eyes instead of grey hair and eyes. Eiji is the acting High Priest, as Fuji has been stripped of his duties, alongside Yukimura.
Yukimura isn't pissed off with the fact that he's been stripped of his duties because he really doesn't mind it. He doesn't have fun being the High Priest – which I might write about in future – and it's boring to him, so this is just like a holiday for him, which he will totally and utterly enjoy. Fuji would actually feel the same way, if only Tezuka wasn't taken away from him.
Also, before you review – because you should O_O – please read this. I'd really like to know who you think the character 'Jou' is, and how you feel about Yagyuu's identity, so when you review, please tell me? 8D
Replies to reviews:
Cheese Rice: He always lies to himself, that's Fuji for you. Even when he doesn't mean to, he does. I hope you enjoyed this chapter as much as I did!
Lemon-and-chai: Because Fuji is an idiot. 8D Tezuka knows, but he doesn't really believe it with the way Fuji has been treating him. Yukimura's the most misunderstood character in this entire fic, really. I treat him so badly. ;A;
supremekikay24: Thank you! 8D Feel free to hate me all you want. xD
vegibee: Thank you! I'm always afraid that there's just so much going on in one chapter that people get turned off by it, but I'm glad you're enjoying it! It's just, I have so much to fit in, and it all has to be happening at the same time and... ;A; shh necklace shh that's important spoilers but shhhh
Guest #1: Thank you! 8D I hope I won't destroy them anymore, but I really can't tell you because spoilers.
CRAZEMisaki: You are. Piggeh. Food. Beedoh beedoh beedoh. You're welcome. 8D
Guest #2: /waves hi/ Cliffies are awesome, aren't they? I just feel like I end every chapter with one and people are so sick of it. Butterflies are pretty! 8D Even if I scream like a little girl when I see them. Jou, yes Jou who do you think Jou is hmmm
VaneUchihaWacabayashi: Uhm. owo I'm going to take that as meaning 'cute' so thank you! 8D
Starry Night: That's okay! It makes me happy that despite being busy you still take the time to review! Hm, so you think Jou is Fuji. /notes it down/ Everyone loves cliffies, don't they? 8D Don't cry!
/hands out tissues to anyone who needs them/