Yeah, I know I said I wouldn't be updating this fic all too often, but after the last chapter, I just got this wild urge to keep writing. My muse lit a giant fire under my ass, and so, I typed this chapter out as quick as I could with my slow fingers and brain, and I had a hell of a lot of fun doing so. I just went with what my mind came up with, and I'm actually quite glad with how things turned out, especially the progression of Fuji's and Tezuka's relationship (though they're not quite close enough to date yet). And I hope for Eiji and Oishi to be a couple soon enough (fingers crossed for next chapter)!
Summary: When the zombie apocalypse encompasses Tokyo, only four remain alive and uninfected.
Pairings: Perfect Pair and Golden Pair (Maybe some more later on).
Rating: (Overall) M (This Chapter) T—OC Death, talk of rape.
Disclaimer: I own nothing from Tenisu no Ouji-sama, sadly.
The Fight of their Lives
The next few days were tense for everyone. Fuji and Tezuka still refused to be near each other most of the time, primarily because of their unfinished business with the "near-rape" incident; Oishi and Eiji avoided each other (more Oishi than anything) after their little moment in the kitchen, afraid of what might transpire between them should they speak or touch once more; and Ryoma, well, he was oblivious to it all, and sat around most of the time with Fuji, who taught him how to play hand games for entertainment. Eiji joined in occasionally, or threw Fuji down against a mattress and let Ryoma tickle him to no end until the three of them fell alseep from pure exhaustion.
But for the most part, a thick layer of foggy air surrounded them all, and none of them, except maybe Ryoma, seemed to be willing to open up to the others about it.
But on the thirteenth day of their stay in the hotel (because Tezuka liked to keep track of how long they were together), they decided that maybe, enough was enough, and that they had to group back together to find food. They were down to only three cans at that point, and Fuji could only continue to voice his worry about Ryoma the longer they sat around doing nothing. He wanted to make sure the boy stayed healthy, and the only way to do that was to eat.
So, he told the other three, one night when Ryoma was sleeping peacefully on their mattress. He made sure they were all around the fire barrel, attentive and serious and cooperative, before he explained that they either needed to move on to another part of the city, or have two of them go raid other buildings until they came across something.
"We can't just sit here and let ourselves die," he said, staring the others down with nothing but complete seriousness. "Remember what we talked about on the first day here? We said that our families would be upset with us if we just gave up, and by us not working together, we have. Think of what they would say to you now, knowing what you've done, and what we're doing to poor Ryoma-kun by acting so immature and selfish. We... we really just need to find food, proper shelter, and then, once we're all ready, a rescue..."
Tezuka seemed to be the first one to break from his stubborn caccoon, and nodded his head towards the petite brunette. "I agree," he replied. "We need to find better provisions, we need to keep ourselves safe and healthy. And more importantly, we need to make sure Ryoma has all of those things in perfect quantity. He is only a child, after all, and sometimes, he doesn't seem to understand just how dire our situation really is."
"Nya, I think Fujiko-chan is right, too," murmured Eiji, before he cast a quick glance over to Oishi. He seemed to ignore him completely though, in favor of staring at Fuji and Tezuka.
"Then what should we do," asked Oishi. "Moving may prove to be hard, especially with Ryoma-kun accompanying us, but at the same time, sending only two of us out, now that those things know we live here, could be just as risky. And where would we go? Where would we search? And what could we possibly do about a rescue? We're in Tokyo, so I highly doubt we could make it far enough to reach the coast, to try and find a boat or something. And I doubt the hospitals would have any helicopters left on the roofs. Any uninfected patients would have been carried away on them the second the city knew of the outbreak."
Fuji sighed and intertwined his fingers in his lap. "That's all true," he admitted quietly, "but that doesn't mean we have the time to just sit around and think about it. We need to get this discussion over with as soon as possible, otherwise, one of us will be dying of hunger or weakness within the next few weeks. And I don't want that."
"So..." Eiji tilted his head curiously, "which is it, then? Do we move, or do we search for food in twosomes?"
The four of them fell silent, and several long minutes of deep thought had to pass before Tezuka made his own decision, and spoke up again. "I vote for moving," he stated, crossing his arms in a show of confidence. "A smaller place of residence means a lesser margin for error in the space provided. And if we could get close to a hospital—"
"Yes, but if we move," Oishi argued, "then we have to find a way to get all of our things to the new place—not to mention the fact that we would have to reinforce that place before moving in, which would be a feat all in of itself."
"Where would we even go, nya," Eiji questioned, "because as far as I know, this hotel is the safest place we can be. Sure, there's no more food, and our barricades aren't the best, but we're still out of harm's way as long as we stay inside. Are there any other buildings this strong? And are there any plausible food sources somewhere else around the city?"
Tezuka shrugged. "We won't know unless we investigate, which means, one way or another, we're going to have to leave. Whether it be in search of food, or a new... home, two of us have to head out to see. But rather than making multiple long trips to get food, should we find some, we should move into a worthy place close to it, where we can easily have it stocked up without too much worry of those things catching us."
"Well, then," Fuji glanced around the barrel at the other three, "who would go to look? My personal opinion would be for Tezuka and Oishi, considering their sizes and strength, but at the same time, Eiji and I have more experience with weapons, and can move quicker, since we're smaller."
Oishi sat forward in his chair. "I have to agree with you on that one, Fuji-kun. Tezuka and I know the city better anyways, considering we've grown up here, but then again, we need pristine protection if only two of us are to go. Tezuka and I can't necessarily provide that—the chances of us being overrun are far too great."
Eiji suddenly pointed over to his ex-best friend. "What if," he mumbled, "we did the next best thing? Oishi-san knows the city, and can carry quite a bit, should we find anything," he then turned his hand back on himself, "and I could be the protection for him. Plus, I could haul a couple things myself, if I needed to."
"That sounds fine to me," nodded Fuji. "But the thing is, you two aren't really on speaking terms right now, and Tezuka and I—"
"We can work through that," Tezuka interrupted, and rather rudely. "Besides, you need to be here for Ryoma, and if anything should happen, I can get him out while you hold those foul things off. Splitting us up from our closer friend may not be ideal in terms of relationship and teamwork, but it can surely help to save us in any kind of encounter with those undead."
Fuji sunk down in his chair and gulped. "I guess..."
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
(The Next Day)
He cast a curious look over to Oishi, who was busy packing up a small bag of water canteens, flashlights, lighters, and a first-aid kit. Neither of them had spoken since the previous night, around the barrel, and frankly, neither really seemed to want to. Oishi was too busy talking with Tezuka about possible landmarks for food and shelter, and he and Fuji filled most of their time playing with Ryoma and "redecorating" the lobby.
But he knew they would just have to say something at some point. They were about to go out into the deserted city alone, where thousands upon thousands of those terrible beasts roamed. There was no time for arguing and ignoring when they were too busy trying to survive, to make it through the rotting crowds to their destination. If the two of them wanted to make it back alive, they needed to communicate—and effectively.
"So, do you really think we can do this," he asked quietly, more to himself than anyone else. "The city is really dangerous right now, nya."
Oishi tied the bag closed and threw it over his shoulder. "We can survive," he said. "You and Fuji did it for three days before we met you."
"Yeah, but me and Fujiko-chan were locked up in here for the most part," Eiji replied. "The only day we really left was the day when we found you and Tezuka-san trapped inside a group of those things."
"But you still did it, Eiji-kun," argued Oishi, turning to look at him. "And now, we're going to do the same. But first, I want to apologize."
Eiji froze in his packing to look up. He was shocked that Oishi would be the one to make a first move. "Apologize..." he repeated, taking a small step forward. "Oishi-san—"
"No, let me speak first," Oishi sighed and looked away for a moment, almost like he was contemplating what to say. "I just... what happened in the kitchens the other day shocked me... and I went about my reaction the wrong way. I should have considered your feelings, and thought that maybe... what you feel for me really is beyond friendship. But I was just so scared... I come from a really traditional family, and the idea of me, the oldest son, being gay is..."
A pair of arms wrapped around his middle, and he smiled. "You're so silly, nya," Eiji murmured into his shoulder. "You should have just told me. You could have prevented this whole stupid mess if you had."
He chuckled. "I suppose I could have..."
"I forgive you, by the way," the redhead stated. "Do you forgive me, too?"
"Of course," he nodded. "But you realize we still have to talk about what happened. We need to settle what our true feelings are... whether they're the same or not."
He was nervous about what he might discover when that time came though, and could only hope that it wouldn't lead to another argument.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
Oishi was the leader as they crept down the streets. He knew exactly where he wanted to go, thanks to his careful planning with Tezuka the night before, but as the two of them went deeper into the city, they found themselves getting trapped more and more. The beasts would be crowded together in the street, or down an alley, barricading their path for several blocks until they found a safer way around.
They would stand in front of building entrances, too, so neither could get in to explore. Shooting would only make the things alert to their presence, and sneaking by would be too risky, since they could easily be caught and dragged away.
"What now," whispered Eiji. "Do you wanna move on to the next place you were looking for, or should we risk trying to get in?"
Oishi knelt down behind a truck and sighed. "Hold on—let me just think for a second... This building has a good chance of containing food, and possibly shelter... but at the same time, there has to be at least thirty of those things blocking the doorways. And the next place on the agenda is still ten blocks away..."
"Sounds to me like we should just go for this one, nya," Eiji said, peeking out to look at the building once more. "All we have to do is get ourselves inside, then hide down for a few minutes while we lose those things. As soon as they're gone again, we can start to search."
"Yes, but that still leaves the matter of actually getting in there," Oishi shook his head. "I think we should just pass on. We have too big a chance of getting caught."
The redhead shrugged, then lowered the gun in his hands. "If that's what you want, nya. You know this place better than me, so if you think we can't get in, we won't even try. Come on, let's go to the next one."
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
Fuji would have gone up to his balcony with Ryoma, had those beasts not been there to ruin the experience. Just the mere mention of those things had the poor boy cowering in fear, and not even a tight hug, a kiss, or soft words of comfort could help. Tezuka explained that he had probably seen them when his family was still alive... or maybe, his family had been turned into them the last time he saw them.
They carefully tried to coax the real answer out of Ryoma, telling him that once he got it out, he would feel much better, and that he could be properly consoled if he did, but he remained stubborn. Not so much as one word could be uttered without him curling into his shell of security, and crying. So soon enough, Fuji called a stop to everything, and just sat at the barrel with Ryoma in his lap, rocking him back and forth gently until he fell alseep.
But that left just one little problem: the fact that he and Tezuka were alone, with no one to witness their actions. Yes, he was terrified, and yes, he was sure Tezuka would try something again, since he had attempted something before. He was always staring at him, with hazel eyes dilated and swimming with lust, and Fuji was just sure that that feeling was directed right at him. He was the closest thing to a woman, after all, in their little five person society. Why would Tezuka hold in his desires when there was a pretty, petite androgynous boy at his disposal?
After laying Ryoma down on their mattress to nap, he took a slow, hesitant seat in his usual chair, as far away from Tezuka as he could get at the barrel without appearing suspicious. He really didn't want to give away his nervousness, because that could only fuel Tezuka to attack quicker, more forcefully. No, he had to remain cool and tactful, and if he were as much a tensai as everyone said he was, he would come up with a way to keep Tezuka off of him, no matter what he did.
A long hour passed by, and neither said a word. Tezuka had set about to examining one of the maps they had, calculating the most likely location of their two friends, and what they could have possibly discovered at that point. Fuji was growing restless though, and the silence didn't help. The longer they sat there without doing anything, the more stress he felt press down upon him, and he soon began to shake at the idea of Tezuka just lunging forward over the barrel and ravishing him.
Another half an hour came and went, and he had had enough. He needed to do something to lighten the air between them, and then, just maybe, he could make Tezuka forget all about his thin, pliant body beneath his own. "Listen," he began, voice soft and shaky even as he told himself to sound more confident, "I know we've had some... issues between us, especially on that first day... but I just want to thank you for being here to protect me, to protect us. After what I said and did to you, you have no obligation to help me... but you insisted, anyways. So, again, thank you, Tezuka."
There was a pause, in which Tezuka pulled back from the map and folded it neatly on his lap. But then he was staring back at Fuji, trying to read his face for any underlying motives; he only found one. "Ah, you're welcome," he responded coolly, "though I believe you deserve some kind of kindness after what I did to you the other day."
He watched Fuji stiffen anxiously, and knew he had found his mark. Yes, the two of them were still on hard ground about that little... moment of weakness, on his part. But of course Fuji would be scared about that; he had been just a short time away from being raped, and had he not thrown Tezuka from his own perverted thoughts, the situation probably would have progressed to just that.
"You understand why I might have done that, right," he asked, still sounding all too calm for the conversation subject. "Miyuki was important to me, and after she was gone... I was lost. I was desperate for a solution to my stress, and the tension that surged through me each time I thought of her. You were just the unlucky soul to be standing next to me when I snapped, though I must say that you're to blame for some of that. The way you were acting reminded me of her completely, and your looks are something to be admired, just as hers were. And I know you didn't realize you were tempting me, but I hope that my explanation will keep you from doing so in the future."
Fuji looked utterly confused and surprised. There was just no way he had been tempting Tezuka to attack him. Sure, he liked the man, had had a crush on him ever since he had first appeared on TV alongside his father, but never in a million years would he purposefully tease a straight, grieving man into being with him. He preferred normal relationships anyways, not ones that came about because of some heavy flirting, uncontrollable lust, and weak willpower.
"N-no," he said, shaking his head, "I would never do that to you. What you did to me was your fault. Even if you found a connection between Miyuki-san and me, you still should have had the ability to hold yourself back. I never met her, I never knew how she acted, I would never hope to copy her actions and know that I was doing so, taunting you as you grieved for her. What you did, how you trapped me and almost..." he gulped, "that was all on you. What happened to us on the first day together, yes, that was me, but you attacking me was your fault. No one else is to blame."
Tezuka sighed, quite near ready, as Fuji could tell, to jump up and slap him across the face. "You really think you're all innocent in this," he seethed, curling his hands into tight fists. "You think that a little pretty-boy like you can just walk around in your tight clothes, moving your body in such teasing ways, without expecting any sort of repercussion? Do you really think that a man like me, or Oishi, or Kikumaru, could just sit there and watch you act like a little slut, then forget about all of it so easily? Do you really think that they haven't thought about doing dirty things to you, or that I haven't either? We may be straight, Fuji Syuusuke, but given the situation we're in, you're the next best thing to a woman as we can get. One of these days, if you keep acting the way you do, you will learn that the hard way."
"I am not a slut, thank you very much," argued Fuji. "I've never even had sex before! And yes, I realize that you three may think about me sometimes, but as of right now, you seem to be the only one having trouble with control! And instead of telling me about it before, you decided to just jump me out of nowhere, and then blame it on me! Maybe if you had just explained your feelings earlier on, that never would have happened!"
Tezuka angrily slammed his hands against his chair. "Do you honestly think that you would bow down like a good boy and apologize if I had said anything? From what I saw of you when we first met, you probably would have done it more, just to tease me, just out of spite!"
"I told you I was sorry for what I did, and you said you were fine with that!" Fuji shouted, before he jumped to his feet. "And I am not so heartless as to bring you down when you're already in such pain! I understand that you loved her, that the way she was taken from you was far too unfair, but never would I try to further upset your grieving by acting like her! Or by acting like the 'little slut' that you think I am!"
Tezuka also got up from his chair, and leaned forward over the barrel as far as he could. He was more than livid with the tensai, his words, his actions, his purposeful denial of everything he had done. "Listen to me, you whorish, disgusting, stupid little brat—"
He was interrupted by static, and it came from the walkie-talkie laying on the lobby counter behind him. Immediately, once he heard a voice echo in through all of the background noise, he forgot all about his argument with Fuji, and ran over to answer the unfamiliar vocalization calling out for help.
"These aren't strong enough to pick up something outside the city," murmured Fuji quietly. "That means..."
"Hello, is someone there," Tezuka asked the radio. "This is Tezuka Kunimitsu. Please, tell me your name in return."
There was more static, drowning out any kind of discernable sound that he could possibly translate. But then, after another minute, just when he thought the signal would give out, he heard a clear, calm voice answer to his request.
"We're trapped in one of the hospitals," the unknown person explained. "Anyone out there, please help us."
Fuji moved over to the large map laid out across the counter. "I wonder which one, ne. There are so many spread throughout the city."
"Ah, I can ask, though," replied Tezuka, pressing the "talk" button on the walkie-talkie once more. "Listen, we have friends out searching the city right now, and we can get in touch with them through our radios. If you could just specify which hospital you're in, we can send them out there to help you."
"Hai," was the delayed response, "we're at—"
Tezuka very nearly dropped the walkie-talkie when he heard a scream echo through the speaker. Then there was yelling, scrambling, and pleading as their caller rushed to help his companions... before everything went quiet.
"Oh no," Fuji whispered; he sounded just as shocked as Tezuka felt. "They... they didn't make it..."
Tezuka dropped his head. "So it seems..."
"That could have been us, you know... Our arguing could have made us blind to an ambush, and then we would be... Ryoma-kun would be..." Fuji looked up with tears in his eyes. "We have to stop. We have to start getting along. I don't want to lose any of you. My family's already gone, and so are my friends from back home. And I would be absolutely devastated to lose the only four people I have left. Tezuka, please, we must stop our immature feuding. We must work together. We must survive this disaster, and be proud to say we did so in one piece."
Tezuka took a step forward, and held out a nervous hand. "Agreed," he said. "Besides, Kikumaru would kill me for being the cause of any of your deaths... even if he himself was dead."
Fuji giggled, then took the hand offered for him to shake. "Be careful, ne. Eiji may be playful and innocent, but he cares a lot about his friends. He would do anything to protect them... or to exact revenge on their deaths."
"Ah," nodded Tezuka. "Now, no more fighting between us. No matter the issue, no matter the location or the circumstance, we will refuse to let our guards down. We will live through this, and all together."
Tell me what you think of the chapter, okay? And I'm still jumping to write, so the next one may be out just as quickly as this one was! I'm actually really excited to be writing this fic, and I hope to finish quickly (or quicker than some of my other ones, anyways)!