So, quite a few years ago I wrote a couple of Prince of Tennis fics which at most two other people ever read. I found them recently and had absolutely no memory of them, so it was kind of like reading someone else's story... someone with a similar writing style anyways. I was surprised at how much I actually enjoyed reading them, so I thought it was possible someone else would, too. So here you go. Something NOT KakaIru :)

I didn't change it much - in all honesty I don't remember enough of the series. I have to trust that I knew what I was saying at the time. Hehe.

And those of you waiting for my latest chapter of Fireflies... I'm working on it, I promise! It'll be along in the near future!

~ Risu


The tournament was in full swing, and so was I. I'd felt strong and in control of my last match, and was now enjoying the feel of my body cooling after my vigorous game.

I stretched my neck and rolled my shoulders, revelling in the sensation. My eyes automatically looked for Tezuka, even though I knew he would be warming up by now. He'd been there until the end of my match, had witnessed my victory, but while I was shaking the hand of my opponent, he would have slipped away to prepare for his own match.

Nevertheless I couldn't stop my eyes searching for him. It was a habit.

The thing that struck me as a little odd was that as I looked around, all the other regulars were present and accounted for. Tezuka usually had someone help him warm up, but there was no one missing. Even Echizen was there, snoozing under a tree on a slight rise behind what had been my court. Perhaps today our captain had felt more solitary and had decided to use the wall for his warm up, much like Echizen was wont to do.

I decided to go looking for him, as I walked through the park-like complex grounds to cool the muscles of my legs down. I swung my racquet gently to relax my arm muscles, humming softly to myself and keeping an eye out for his tantalizing body.

I giggled to myself. I'm not supposed to think such lascivious thoughts about Tezuka, and generally kept myself under a firm hand. Such a staid person, not only was there no chance that he would reciprocate my feelings, worse, he was a bit of a traditionalist, and I expected he'd be disgusted to know another member of his gender had the hots for him. Or more than that, was in love with him. So I kept my thoughts to myself, and in all honesty most of the time I kept them from myself.

It was strange for me that I had feelings for another man. I never expected it. I've heard that some people know that they like members of the same sex from a young age, but I hadn't. I just realised one day that I was crazy about Tezuka, and his gender was irrelevant to my feelings. But this was Japan, and this kind of relationship was frowned upon, so I had learned not to curl my toes whenever his gaze settled on me and just kept my usual smile in place. Every single member of the team had at some point asked me while I smiled all the time.

"Se…c…ret" I'd reply slyly and smile at them some more. I knew that it drove them crazy with curiosity. Good times.

I thought it was obvious that my smile was defensive, that I was hiding what I really thought and felt behind it. I don't know why everyone else found me so enigmatic, but I guess it was good that they did. My smile gave away as little as Tezuka's humourless expression, and I guarded my secrets with lazily closed eyes. The eyes are, after all, the windows to the soul, so I wasn't letting any one take a peek inside.

There were some trees up ahead of me, and past them I could see the hint of a practice wall. I skipped slightly, excited to see Tezuka as always. I rounded the corner of a large hedge, and prepared to call out…

…and froze in disbelief as my heart first rose into my mouth, and then plummeted an instant later into my stomach.

The scene before me is indelibly imprinted in my brain. Tezuka was there all right, but he wasn't warming up. He had his back up against the wall, his head was turned to one side, and he was blushing angrily. Atobe Keigo was leaning over him, hands placed either side of Tezuka's shoulders. He was leaning in close with one leg pushing between Tezuka's thighs. From my angle I could only see part of his face, but his expression was wicked. While I stood, frozen in place, he trailed one finger down Tezuka's turned cheek, and gently brought his face around. Tezuka's gaze met Atobe's, and his expression changed - it became so soft and vulnerable. Atobe chuckled, leaned in and kissed him.

And it looked an awful lot to me like Tezuka was kissing him back.

My racquet must have fallen from my numb fingers. The sound as it hit the paving under my feet sounded to me like a gunshot. At the sound my eyes snapped to the ground and I stared at it in horror, before slowly, fearfully, raising my eyes back up.

They were both looking at me. Atobe with a self-satisfied smirk, and Tezuka…. well, frankly Tezuka looked adorable. His cheeks were flushed, his lips bruised from Atobe's kiss, and his hair was even more dishevelled than it usually was. He also looked to be somewhat in shock.

"Yo, Fuji," Atobe said.

"Sorry," I muttered, and fled.


O


I don't remember much of the rest of the day, it all went past in a bit of a blur. I vaguely remember Tezuka's match - he won, of course. I remember fixing my meaningless smile on my face so no one knew anything was wrong. I remember Atobe watching from the stands and whenever my gaze stole towards him, he somehow seemed to know and turned to look at me with that arrogant, lazy smirk of his.

As soon as I had the opportunity to leave, I did. Tezuka and Ryuzaki-sensei gathered everyone together briefly after Tezuka's match and spoke a few words to us. I was already packed and ready to leave, so once I was able, I grabbed my bag and left. I heard Kikamaru call out to me, but I just kept walking and raised one hand in farewell.

I had managed to not look even once into Tezuka's eyes.

It wasn't until the next day, after practice, that he got me alone. I'd been lost in thought and like an idiot had lost track of time. All of a sudden I realised that most of the club had already gone home, and I was far from organised to do so myself. I hastily retreated to the clubroom to grab my things and make my escape.

There was no one there, which should have enabled my rapid retreat, but then I heard the door open and close behind me, followed by Tezuka's voice.

"Fuji…" he began.

I didn't look at him. I opened my locker and took a book out. "I won't tell," I said.

Tezuka paused and I shoved the book in my bag, then reached for the rest of the things I needed to take home with me that evening.

"But you think I'm strange," he mumbled. I turned. He looked miserable, like a beaten dog. I guess he would expect me to feel that way. I'd expected him to, after all.

"No, Tezuka, I don't." I replied. He looked up at me, his wonderful, beautiful eyes tormented behind his glasses. I almost cried, but instead turned back to my bag, and put the jacket I was holding in, and zipped it up. "You don't decide what, or how you feel." I closed my locker door. "Or who for. It just happens."

"It did," Tezuka said. "I mean I didn't… He…" he trailed off.

"I understand, it's okay. I don't think you're deranged, and I'm not going to tell anyone." I made sure my smile was in place as I picked up my bag, and turned to face him. "Don't let him take advantage of you," I grinned. "That Atobe can be a real jerk." Tezuka rubbed the back of his head and blushed.

God he was adorable, damn him. Damn that Atobe, and damn me for my fears.

I headed for the door and stopped beside him, resting my hand briefly on his shoulder. "I hope he appreciates how lucky he is," I said, and then walked out with my dignity intact, and my heart in pieces.

And just like I was in some shoujo manga, the skies opened above me. As I walked I raised my face into the rain. With my meaningless smile in place, and the rain on my cheeks, no one would be able to see the tears.


~end