DISCLAIMER:…..Same as always….


'Stupid, stupid stupid!' Fuji reprimanded himself over and over again, accompanied by occasional bumping of his head on his desk.

While the days that followed after his dinner date with Tezuka went just fine, Fuji knew things have changed. He lately seemed to be unable to stare at their captain's figure for more than ten seconds without blushing. More difficult is the fact that Inui had noticed and had told him something, which he swore not to ever consider.

Fuji smirked, only out desperation on his current circumstance.

'In love? With Kunimitsu Tezuka?' he thought in mock disgust. 'Screw you Inui.'

Yet no matter how he tried to ignore his friend's deduction, Fuji knew he was right. The feeling, after all, is very familiar; exactly the same with what he felt like when he dated Shiraishi – multiplied by ten.

Fuji pulled away from his desk and let his head hang back so he was now facing the ceiling. He couldn't be possibly in love with Tezuka for hundreds of reasons, and he knew that. But damn if he could think of any when he tried thinking of one.

Tezuka was gorgeous; he's intelligent, great in tennis, responsible….and all. Fuji had admired everything about their stoic captain. He admires him not love.

"But how the hell would I know the difference?" he said to himself.

'Because you're a genius?' came an idea from the back part of his mind. Uhuh.

Fuji shut his eyes and wished to forget whatever happened. But not long before he decided that a good nap might clear off his mind, his room door slammed open, giving way to a squealing Yumiko who then lounged at him with a tight hug. Fuji gripped her arms to prevent from falling back from his chair.

"Nee-san!" he complained, now pulling away Yumiko's arms around him and facing her with a frown.

"He's here!" Yumiko squealed, trying her best not to scream but barely managing to contain her excitement.

"What?!" Fuji snapped, annoyed. "Who's here?" he asked, mentally cross referencing people with events that made his sister react the way she was doing now. One, two seconds and it hit him.

'Shit.' Fuji thought, half running his way out of his room and going down the stairs two at a time. He immediately dashed to the living room, where he confirmed his initial guess. Honestly, he shouldn't have come running. Now his excuse of being sick will totally be void.

"Tezuka…." he said, refusing to take the seat across their captain and preferring to stay at a reasonable distance as if it would save him from the blows of Tezuku's glares.

The stoic captain stood up from his seat, placed his hands inside his pants' pockets, and made an elevator look at Fuji.

"Just when I thought of believing your claim that you're dead sick, you're standing now in front of me….completely fine." Tezuka commented in a formal tone, though Fuji read between the lines and realized how bad his idea was in ditching off afternoon practice in favor of slacking off inside his room to think about the stupid thing called love.

"No…I….wasn't really feeling well.." Fuji insisted, refusing to look at his captain, aware of how his lies can be read when he does.

Tezuka heaved a sigh and nodded. "Have a good rest then. I don't think the same reason's acceptable tomorrow."

"S-sorry…" the tennis genius mumbled, his eyes on the floor. Actually he just wanted to look sincere. He knew Tezuka was aware that he wasn't sick at all; which means, he is guilty of neglect on his responsibilities as a regular player on their team.

On a second thought, it's not like he was lying entirely. He didn't really feel like going to practice. But of course that wouldn't work. He needed to pull off some acts to back up his excuse - even if it involved using his prowess in acting.

Fuji heaved a sigh, gently massaging his temples. "I really should've attended practice, ne?" He faked a disturbed frown to add validity on his act. When Tezuka shook his head in disagreement, Fuji smiled inwardly.

It always worked that way. He felt pleased it has the same effect on the stoic guy.

"Just get some sleep for now." Tezuka said, walking closer. He gave a firm tap on Fuji's shoulder. "I was worried. You don't get sick. Well not usually, so…." Tezuka let his shrug finish his words.

Fuji looked up and tried to read Tezuka's expression. He couldn't.

And that seriously alarmed him.

Tezuka might be stoic, but Fuji always had his own ways of reading between the lines of that mere blank face. He always has…..

"What is it?" Tezuka asked when he noticed Fuji's intent look on him, which was slowly edging to worry and…..alarm?

Fuji kept staring.

"Fuji…is everything alright?" Tezuka asked, nudging Fuji's arm gently.

The reaction he got was one he wasn't expecting. Fuji literally pried his hand away, as if afraid of any contact. Tezuka frowned.

"No…I'm…this…." Fuji stammered, now pulling him arm away and hiding it on his back.

Tezuka was confused, but didn't show it. Perhaps it was just the sickness. "Alright….I should probably go. See you tomorrow."

Fuji nodded.

Tezuka examined his face again, and mentally noted Fuji's paler appearance. Maybe he was really sick. He walked past his teammate to go home, but was stopped by a Fuji's strong grip on his arm. Tezuka looked at him.

"I need to know something." Fuji said, dragging each word to emphasize his point. "….god…I badly need to know what the hell is going on…" he continued, swallowing hard in exasperation as he faced his captain.

Tezuka didn't say anything, and preferred to hear out what Fuji has to say. If this is something that bothers his teammate a lot to the point of sacrificing tennis, then he needs to know.

"Tezuka I'm sorry." Fuji said, before leaning up and claiming Tezuka's lips in one of those mind-blowing kisses. As usual, he had expected himself to be pushed away. But heavens should've been watching this time since he didn't feel any resentment from the other guy at all. In fact if he was to describe how Tezuka was doing, Fuji would say, better than their past kisses. Not responsive, but nevertheless better.

Fuji pulled an inch away from the kiss when he needed air, but leaned his body closer to his captain's at the same time. He couldn't help but worry if Tezuka was fine with it, since he didn't seem to mind. Fuji licked his lower lip, before once again resuming to his business. This time, he let his lips linger on Tezuka's..slowly and gently….

Still, Tezuka didn't seem to mind. Fuji had already clung his arms around his captain's neck, making sure he wouldn't run. And as if that meant something, he felt Tezuka's hands on his waist. Fuji once again pulled away, now looking at Tezuka's reaction. He still couldn't read it.

Why?

What is wrong with him?

What the hell is going on?

In a mixture of desperation and self-detest, Fuji leaned his forehead against Tezuka's; arms still clung on the other's neck, not yet willing to let him go unless he gets answers.

"Say something…..please say something…" Fuji muttered, eyes shut tight, and trying his best not to let his uncertainty show in his voice.

Tezuka sighed, and Fuji could feel his warm breath caress his lips. God..he wanted to kiss his captain again..

"What is it that you badly need to know.." Tezuka whispered, not making any effort to break from their current position.

True. He didn't expect the kiss. But it wasn't new to him either. But just because he didn't push Fuji away when he once again did it doesn't mean he agreed with it at all. Tezuka wouldn't. However, he wouldn't react with the assault much the same with the first time as well. Reacting the same way with a reoccurring mistake is letting your guard down. And Kunimitsu Tezuka is definitely not someone who does that.

"I need to know if what Inui said was true." Fuji replied.

"And just what did Inui say?"

Fuji leaned away enough for him to look at Tezuka in the eyes.

"…That I'm in love with the captain of the Seigaku tennis club."

Now that was one thing Tezuka didn't know how to respond. But what was one of the basic rules when you don't know what to say? Probe.

"And?"

Fuji swallowed hard. He planted another gentle kiss on Tezuka's lips before facing him again.

"I am." he said, blue eyes piercing through Tezuka's. "And I'm sorry."

Tezuka finally decided that things has gotten too serious and looked away. Fuji understood the gesture and disengaged his arms around their captain. He made a step backward and sighed. He said it before. Tezuka and he was no ingredient for romance. And now that he was aware of that being not true on his part doesn't change anything. Tezuka will still be Tezuka.

"I….truly am sorry.."

"For what exactly." Tezuka demanded, thinking of the things Fuji owed him an apology for. First the kiss, then that confession, but more importantly are the things Tezuka needs to endure the next days knowing that Fuji's not going to stop bothering him. Not especially now that he claims he's in love. With him of all people.

"For letting you down." Fuji said.

'Oh. So Fuji does realize his lapse. That's a surprise.' Tezuka thought.

"I can't go on like this Tezuka."

The stoic captain mentally nodded in agreement. 'Good thing you know that. Tennis requires focus and effort that has nothing to do with your love life.' he thought.

"I'm quitting."

'Great. That's the best you- Wait. What?'

Tezuka looked at Fuji with wide-eyes, not sure if he heard it right. "Say that again." he commanded.

Fuji looked down and sighed. "…I'm…..quitting tennis…." he said, feeling the knot on his chest squeeze tighter, and making his every breath painful.

He heard Tezuka's sharp intake of air. "I wouldn't allow you." came the affront response.

"That's my-"

"You are staying on the team Fuji." Tezuka said in command. "And that is final."

With one last glare, Tezuka marched out of Fuji's house, not caring to say some formal goodbyes to Yumiko whom he had noticed quite a while ago standing at the stairwell.

Tezuka slammed the door behind him and leaned against it.

"Damn." he cursed.


The next day at tennis practice, no Fuji Syusuke appeared.

Tezuka's worst assumption came true when he learned from coach Ryuzaki that Fuji had formally asked to quit the tennis club.

"Without any valid reason? That's not acceptable." Tezuka argued.

Their coach faced him with a knowing smile. "But I saw one Tezuka. And I quote; Because I fell in love with someone who already has more of my attention than tennis."

Tezuka stood immobile. Coach Ryuzaki smiled in regret. "Fuji's a big loss. But I can't allow him to stay if he doesn't like it anymore."

The stoic captain didn't say anything and immediately fled. Coach Ryuzaki heaved a sigh.

'Teens nowadays really are…difficult.' she thought with a smile. She got her phone from her pocket and pressed redial.

"I'll have Inui device an additional training as your punishment." she said still with the smile.

She heard Fuji's soft chuckle from the other line. "Understood Ryuzaki-sensei…But if this still doesn't work I'll really quit."

"You shouldn't be underestimating Tezuka, Fuji. He's not as hard to crack as you thought. Now why don't you just enjoy your short vacation."

With that said, Coach Ryuzaki ended the call.

If Tezuka couldn't let go of Fuji, how much more she? So if random kindness can keep their tensai at bay, why not? Though she doubt if she'll ever be able to look at Tezuka straight on the face again after this conspiracy.

Well, Tezuka doesn't need to know, does he?


AUTHOR'S NOTE:

..and I was like typing the phrase; " he understood the gesture and disengaged his arms…" when my screen suddenly had it underlined in green after I finished entering the entire sentence.

I mean, hello? The grammar's okay so?

And then I clicked the right button to check what went wrong, and guess what it indicated; "Fuji understood…."

And I said…Aha! So you Microsoft Word is now getting more intelligent! (Instead of a 'he' MS Word wants it 'Fuji' better. Well..being specific is good, don't you think?)

Alright…so why are you still reading this anyway? You ought to be writing now your reviews!

Thanks!