Title: Can I Love You
Pairing: main Perfect Pair, mention of SaekiFuji
Rating: G
Genre: Romance/Drama
Summary: AU Sequel to Seven Years of Love. This time, Fuji muses on his feelings towards Tezuka.

A/N: Hi! this is the sequel to my other oneshot "Seven Years of Love". A few people asked for a sequel before and I apologize if I just posted this now. *bows* this time it was written in Fuji's perspective. And btw, the song's Asian again. it's a wonderful love song so i hope you enjoy listening to it. ^_^


It was a beautiful morning. The coffee shop was quiet as usual. Sitting on a corner beside the window, I scanned the photos in my camera. Few people were seated at random tables, chatting softly and enjoying their drinks. This is my favorite hangout place. I go here whenever I need a break from work. It was painted in cream, with browns and mint complimenting along the baselines and the ceiling. The cozy, earthy design of the shop complimented its wooden furniture and antique porcelain wares. It was like going back to the past. The aroma of coffee mixed with the serene atmosphere did wonders to my senses, giving me a calming sense of solitude.

I turned my focus on the window, busying myself looking at passer-byes. Observing people had always been a habit of mine, particularly women. No, it's not that I take interest in them. Rather, watching a woman makes me imagine what secrets she kept behind her gaze, her smile, her laugh. Those kinds of stories were my inspiration in sketching my designs.

Whenver I look at them, I imagine different stories behind their facade. A once a little girl finally fulfilling her dream of becoming a bride. A woman who was left at the altar. A lady to secretly walk down the aisle. The most celebrated bride-to-be. A girl who had no guest but is crying happily as she exchanged vows with her lover. A daughter weeping inside as many people watched her walk to the groom she never loved. The fantasies were endless.

Those women represented different faces of marriage. It was not only the ceremony that makes a wedding special, but the journey it took a woman to get there. Those are what fueled me to create a dress that will make their long wait all the worth it.

"Were you waiting for long?"

I snapped back to reality at the sound of a familiar deep voice. Looking up, I saw him standing before me. I was too engrossed with my own thoughts that I didn't notice him approaching. I greeted him with a smile as he took a seat across me.

"You seemed to be lost in thought." He spoke. "What were you thinking?"

"Nothing important." I chirped. "Just watching the people outside."

"Hn." He gave a short nod.

Silence fell between us. I felt awkward as he stared at me from across the table. Still, I held my usual smile in place. But the loud beating of my heart wasn't helping in the situation.

As if sensing my uneasiness, he spoke. "How is your shop?"

"Orders are flowing. Designs are running out. I need something interesting or else brides will be wearing the same clothes all over Japan." I paused. "You weren't visiting nowadays though."

His handsome face remained impassive, yet his gaze softened with apology. "Sorry. Practice had been intense lately. I always go home late." There was a slight hesitance in his next words. "Were you waiting for me?"

"A bit." I answered. Realizing how suggestive my statement was, I quickly added. "The store's a bit quiet without you. I got used to your…presence, I guess." I smiled wider to cover my mistake. In reality, I've been keeping my store open till midnight in the hopes of him dropping by.

"I'll make it up to you, I promise." He said. His lips curved into the tiniest of smile, and I knew he noticed my slip up. His head turned and scanned the place. "Do you always come here?"

"Yeah. The coffee's good, and few people knew this so it isn't too crowded."

"Now that I think of it, it's the first time we met outside your shop."

"Ah, that's right." I said, realizing it too.

He fixed the oval glasses resting on the bridge of his nose, eyes focusing onto the view outside. "This is our first date then."

My cheeks heated up at the mention of the word. It's been a long time since I went out on a date. I studied his face. His face had the same poker expression it had, yet there was a slight tension on his jaw, as if he was waiting for something. He acted relax but I knew he was uneasy.

"Ah yes, first date." I answered.

His eyes immediately landed on me. I gave him my brightest smile, as if to say I'm okay with it. His face cleared up at the sight of my reaction. Now my heart felt climbing up my throat.

"Shall I order coffee for us?"

I nodded in agreement. "Espresso." I said.

"Hn. I never thought you like something that bitter." He said, but still excused himself and made his way to the counter.

When he was finally gone, I let out a breath. It's really difficult to be at ease around him. It's not like I wasn't used to his stares. I guess those days he was gone made me weak against his charm all over again. That man has scary pheromones, I tell you.

I opened my bag and pulled out my music player. Listening to it always calms me. The music came randomly, blaring on my headphones. I felt myself relaxing when a particular song played. It was one of my favourite songs. It was brought to my attention when my sister told me to listen to it. Despite being in a foreign language, its soft melody and lyrical meaning made me love the song.

The door is opening you come in

I knew at first sight that you were mine

Your face that shone as you came toward me

Is so beautiful it can make me blind

Loving Kojiroh for a long time, it was hard for me to pick up the broken pieces of my heart. Like a wound that refused to heal. It was foolish of me to agree to be the wedding dress designer of his wife to-be. The prick of needles on my finger, the little cuts I obtained were nothing to the pain it took me to create the dress. I admit it was my most beautiful creation, but it was also the one that required most tears. It was the only project I never made with a smile. The entire gown was my final letter to Kojiroh. Goodbyes were sewn with every bead, every lace, every stitch.

I don't know why but it's not strange

My heart is fluttering

You took all of my heart

I was ready to sew my heart to it, a promise of not loving again. That when he took his vow, my heart will go with him.

Until I saw that person wandering inside my shop.

I want to tell you carefully
I want to be brave
Can I love you from today?

He was inquiring about his sister's wedding. I, of course, answered his questions. When he left my store that day, I dismissed him as a passing customer. But he began to frequent my place, coming every day and never seemed to run out of questions. I wanted to tell him to just bring the bride herself but somehow, as the days passed, speaking with him became something I looked forward to. I would catch myself glancing at the door or listening intently for the sound of bells if someone entered. When he finally comes, I would flash a smile and enjoy his company.

It's the first time
I don't want to lose this feeling
I think love is going to come
I'll give only good things to you

That person's coming into my life was a miracle. When my heart got hurt in the past, I thought it will forever be like that. Broken. But little by little, he helped me put it back together. With him, my wounds began to close. It was a healing process, and he was my medicine. With every little thing I discovered about him, I found myself walking farther and farther away from the shadow I cannot escape from before.

And just like any wound, it left me with scars. Scars I thought were long since healed.

But when that song reached my ears, the cuts opened, bleeding and as fresh as before.

I don't know why but it's not strange

My heart is fluttering

You took all of my heart

The opening melody instantly made my body freeze, the familiar wave of pain assailing me. I wanted to run away, to smash the radio against the wall. But I remained rooted on my spot. He seemed to notice the change in me and asked if I was okay. I faked a smile and handed him the broom. I busied myself with the sketches, hoping to divert my attention from the song.

But the torture continued. Memories came to me one by one, sending me back to the hell I fought hard to get out from. Confessions. Dates. Fights. Hugs. Kisses. Breakup. Hopes. Farewell. Everything flashed back like a movie.

Until I felt someone wrapped his arms around me.

I endured a lot of goodbyes and a lot of tears

So it's a little late, but I think I finally met you

Can I love this person that's sitting in front of me?

I'll confess to you with my pounding heart

It was only then that I realized I was crying. The face refused to register in my blurry eyes, but the warmth of body close to me, gentle hands stroking my hair were enough to know who it was. I clung to him as tightly as I could. I poured my heart out. If there was someone who will understand, it was him. For a long time he held me in his arms, easing my pain.

Pulling myself away, I apologized to him. I told him the reason of my sudden outburst, everything I kept hidden for years inside me. And with a heavy heart, I pointed the wedding dress to him.

I want to tell you carefully
I want to be brave
Can I love you from today?

It's the first time
I don't want to lose this feeling
I think love is going to come
I'll give only good things to you

Now that I've let it out, the dark chapter of my life finally closed. For real. I was ready to move on. And as I stared at his beautiful face, my pain was replaced with two things:

Love and Fear.

Can I love you from today?

I can't afford to gamble and be left again. For that one moment I wanted to hope, but I wanted to be sure. If one day he also leave me, I should at least be prepared.

"How about you? When will you get married? Just tell me and I'll make the most beautiful dress for your bride."

But he wiped my tears and pulled me close.

"No thanks. I'm sure you wouldn't wear your own creation anyway."

It was then I knew I finally reached the end of my own journey.

I was busy removing the key chain from my music player when he returned with a tray of drinks. I put down my headphones and took my offered cup before resuming what I was doing. He went back to his seat too and watched me work.

"Isn't that Saeki's key chain?" He asked. "Why are you removing it?"

"I need something new." I answered. "I forgot to replace this one. All my other things have a new keychain."

"Hn. What did you get?"

I pulled out something from my bag and showed it to him. It was a tiny blue box, encrusted with crystals and has a pair of tiny wings on the sides.

He took a closer look of the object. "Is that a...treasure chest?"

"Yup!" I said happily as I put the item on my player. "There! Isn't it pretty?" I held the gadget in front of him, the cute little box dangling from it.

"Hn."

"…."

"…why a treasure box?"

"Saa, is you put it this way…" I poked my cheek with my finger, thinking how I should explain. "Is there something that reminds you of me?" I asked.

His eyes fixed on me. He drank from his mug before answering. "An angel."

My face brightened."Really?"

"Hn."

"It's true right? You're not joking?"

"Hn." He gave me a short glare from across the table. "Although I think a demon suits you better."

"That's mean, Kunimitsu." I faked a pout, acting as if hurt from his comment. "But why an angel?"

His eyes never left me. "Why not? It's the first thing I thought of when I met you. It still is."

"Oh." I felt myself blush. Unable to hold his gaze, I diverted my eyes to my coffee. "Well, it's the same for me. This key chain reminds me of you."

"You compare me to a little box?"

"You have a problem with that?"

"Considering I just compared you to a beautiful winged being, yes."

"But you're really like a treasure box to me!" I insisted. "You keep my thoughts, my precious memories...my heart." The last words came out barely inaudible.

"What was that? I didn't hear it."

"Huh?"

"I know you said something after memories."

"No I didn't."

"Yes you did."

"No."

"Tell me."

"No." Although smiling, a tiny vein popped on my forehead.

"Fuji."

"I said no." Another one appeared.

"Syusuke."

Snapping my eyes open, I gave him my answer. "Argh! It's my heart, okay? YOU HAVE MY HEART. Satisfied?" Realizing I spoke in a loud voice, all the people turned their heads and stared at us. I took my cup and gulped down the espresso, too embarrassed to show my face.

In one of those rarest moments, he let out a chuckle. He leaned closer to my ear and whispered. "I promise to keep them with me forever. Especially your heart."

I put my coffee down and looked at him. Only to realize his face was a few inches from mine. In an instant, he closed that gap.

It was a short kiss but it warmed me more than the bitter concoction. My eyes met his, and his smile was the most beautiful I had ever seen. Returning it with an equally dazzling one, I knew that promise will never be broken. I'll bet my fragile heart on it.

"I never thought espresso can be sweet."


A/N: yay! drop a comment will ya? it'll certainly make my day! ^_^