TF FanFiction 1.17
Shifting Lenses

^-^= Hello, minna~! For this project, I thought that I might try venturing into a serious topic whilst trying my best not to tap into heavy drama... perhaps more on the encouraging side, ne?

You see, I was browsing through a book which makes the readers muse and ponder about the future yet undecided, and somewhere along the pages, it reminded me of how often Fuji-sempai's smile is depicted as not taking things as seriously as he should, and how it is always Tezuka-sempai's who breaks through and unmask the Tensai's real self... Thus, the concept for this project is born...

"What if one day you realize that the simple things you have always taken for granted harbored a grave reason behind all its misleading proclivity? What will you do then?"

By the way, the song in the ending is "Hero" by Enrique Iglesias. Totally adore it. It would be better to read this project while listening to this song.

Now, read on, read on, and may you, dear readers, continue to grace me with your guidance. Enjoy~! ^-^=

Disclaimer: Only when velvet blue roses bloom all by nature's natural course, otherwise Konomi-sensei own all the rights

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TF FanFiction 1.17
Shifting Lenses

"To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim.
No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything.
All art is, at once, surface and symbol.
Those who go beneath the surface, do so at their peril.
Those who read the symbol, do so at their peril.
It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.
We can forgive a man for making a useful thing, as long as he does not admire it.
The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely.
In all ends, all art is quite useless."

~ Oscar Wilde

Tezuka sat late one night working on a very important research. His eyes were hurting, dry, and very tired. He hadn't had eaten anything since that morning, save for the shots of warm espresso in between some hours. The digital clock hanging by the study wall softly beeped of 23:55, and yet something inside him kept pushing him to continue his work. No, it wasn't only his well-guarded personality that made him do this, but the reason remained very clear to him... And that very same reason why he carried-on such tenancy, dedication, perseverance, and determination on his research was peacefully sleeping asat before him, a serene expression played on his delicate feature, as his hibernating laptop and a variety of his breath-taking photos glittered around his graceful form.

Tezuka paused from his work, and allowed himself the leisure of rest while admiring the love of his life, relaxed and unguarded. Just the presence and sight of his beloved was enough to revitalize and rejuvenate whatever drain energy had left his body, but he knew such metaphor hardly work in reality. And so, with a soft sigh, he saved all his files on "Cure and Preventives for Alzheimer's Disease" secured, and gingerly reached for a bite of the green tea-flavored oatmeal cookies his lover had affectionately prepared for him hours before, while letting his mind wonder about their relationship.

For anyone who knew Fuji Syuusuke, he is considered to be a well-rounded genius, a Tensai, a jack of all trades, if one must admit. He's lauded for exceeding everyone's expectation of him without even exerting his full potential, especially his talent for photo-journalism, that far surpassed Steven Wiltshire, who's worldly-renowned as the 'human camera.' The lithe brunette was the heaven-sent angel, the envy, and the crowning jewel of every life he came to touch - elegance, grace, intellect, wits, personality were all in sync to the unattained ideal. In other words, Fuji Syuusuke is simply the perfection of humanity.

But despite what all praises the world offer, there is a glass-shattering fact only Tezuka knows about this sleeping beauty... A truth that was constantly overlooked by all. And it's not that Fuji in a happy gay relationship with a humble (globally-recognized and worldly- demanded doctor / pharmacist / surgeon / scientist) researcher as himself; nor that the Tensai is a total sadist with load of blackmailing materials on everyone (who knows exactly where he gets his sources) and ever-so-often plays unforgiving pranks on unsuspecting victims; nor that he's an elite world-class tennis player, who refused to join the circuit in lieu of his love for photography... None of those, because the everyone already knows those facts.

But this, only Tezuka knew: Fuji Syuusuke has been suffering from Alzheimer's Disease, and the Tensai has known of his sickness even before they entered middle-school (a rare case it is to have been detected on such a young age, it seemed).

Yes, only Tezuka knew of this. Fuji won't let anyone else know of his condition - save for his family, who had entrusted their eldest son's happiness to him -, enough to say he'd rather die than let others feel unwarranted concern and pity for him.

Thinking back to that day when he discovered the papers concerning his lover's illness, he still ponders if the dawn of knowledge came to him by mere serendipity... not knowing whether Fuji had 'sincerely forgotten' to tell him about it, or he 'simply forgot.' But in the five glorious years of their married life, it was on that particular day that he finally truly understood the habits, mannerism, eccentricities that envelops the person his husband is...

{+} Fuji's perpetual smiling mask...
Fuji always held a perpetually disarming smile, so that no one would see the turmoil and bedlam of pent-up emotions held inside his seemingly delicate lithe form. It was his constant armor - protecting him from the world, and the world from him.

{+} Fuji's mesmerizing cerulean gem, mostly hidden behind closed-lids...
As it is often said that 'our eyes are the windows to our soul,' Fuji held onto another function for his hidden eyes than simply barricading himself. The Tensai kept his eyes close most of the time to sharpen his other senses, so that even if his brain gives-in and fails to remember, his heart and body would never forget those close to his heart.

{+} Fuji's 'unique' set of taste buds...
Fuji has conditioned himself accustomed to inhumane spicy (though he really does enjoy them) and dreadful-looking (but very healthy = Inui's Juices, as it is necessary to keep himself headstrong) delicacies in determination to keep his consciousness alert and sharp. While other dreaded and keel-over these concoctions, he willingly asks for them, saying that they serves his body like that of a spark or ignition to keep the engine of a car going.

{+} Fuji's 'lack' of motivation...
Fuji drives for the excitement, the thrill, and the challenge of daredevils, because these emotions constantly keep him grounded and aids in suppressing / delaying the progress of his mental deterioration. It's not that he wasn't motivated on reaching his full potential, it just that the mental conquest brings him more pleasure and satisfaction whereby keeping his sanity intact.

{+} Fuji's childish antics...
Fuji is everything of a child wonder. He sees - or at least tries to see - the world through the fun-loving, curious-seeking, adventure-loving eyes of a child, doing everything he wants and can (even squeezing through the the minuscule loophole of every applicable rule and law) while he still has the chance to marvel at recognizing the world. It is childishness, indeed. A Peter Pan syndrome of some sort. But to him, it's as deep as seizing each day with every remaining second he has.

{+} Fuji's sadistic amusement and refusal to let anyone get too close to himself...
Fuji loves to play and tease, yet never really shares his true self more than he allows. In his context, it must be done, so that if the irreversible time that his brain finally succumbed to the disease, and he had unconsciously detached himself into seclusion, he would have hold no great impact to be venerated but just enough to leave his legacy to the worthy. Despite this, he still hoped his family and friends wouldn't be hurting so much from being kept in the dark about his condition, and be forgiven for this one selfishness of his.

{+} Fuji's strength and sense of concern...
Although, at times, Fuji is deemed indifferent or too carefree, his genuine concern for others - especially his family and friends - is undeniably irrefutable, as he willingly sacrifices himself and fiercely protect everyone worthy and close to him. This is to make-up for his dimming future he had no control over... it's his own way of showing his gratitude and appreciation to the people who had made his life exciting and bearable even if only for the trickling while he still remembers them.

{+} Fuji's contemplative silence and diverse conversation topics...
Fuji may not show it explicitly, but he rather enjoys those moments of silence and vague conversations with his peers. These mute occasion were comforting enough for him to relax his thoughts away from his condition, and often expresses that those silence actually speak more volume to him than verbal words and idle tears. Furthermore, it is within those moments that he share his true self and thoughts without divulging too much than he perceive necessary, that should the conversation deem to be digging deeper than he allows, he could always easily find a way to conceal himself, and immediately change the topic and course of conversation.

{+} Fuji's ability to 'converse' with inanimate objects, more specifically his cacti collection...
Fuji constantly talks with his treasured cacti, because they remind him of the reality of himself and his disease - of how he values himself a gift to his peers, yet surrounding himself with walls of deceit; of how he is proud to be different and unique from the norm, and doesn't let his surrounding affect his values and belief; of how he doesn't really need to rely on other but just enough to get him going each day; of how he would stand on his own feet even after the others went on with their separate ways and leave him on his own; and of how strong his will to survive and overcome all challenges is, despite all the negativities that will undoubtedly come hurling his way.

{+} Fuji's unpredictability...
Fuji reveled on being unpredictable, because it cloaks his condition like a defense mechanism, hindering other from noticing his condition and showing him unwanted concern or pity. Beside, this unpredictability of his will definitely serve as a tremendously useful veil that effectively conceals any changes and symptoms that would gradually manifest themselves on the long-run.

{+} Fuji's love for photography...
Fuji's unparalleled and admirable interest, skills, and love for photography - for preserving precious memories - makeshifts as a constant reminder of those heart-warming moments threatening to be forgotten without his own consent. This hobby is his first love, his livelihood, his thoughtful expressions, his life, but it also serves as his silver thread of hope amidst his clouding fear of losing his precious memories.

Even to present date, Tezuka couldn't erase - not that he had any intention to - the memory of how hard he had wept for the smiling Tensai, who refused to shed even a single tear for himself, back then. Fuji had remained strong for the both of them, holding and soothing his tears away, as his soft-voiced promise grounded itself assuringly in Tezuka consciousness, "I will do everything never to forget you, Mitsu. My love for you will overcome whatever this illness of mine brings our relationship to. I will always be here with you, and I will always love you."

The truth and revelation had cut deep into his heart, but they both knew that that one honesty - no matter how painful and lonely the word entailed thereafter - had strengthened their love and devotion for each other.

The memories of their past, reminded Tezuka of another assuring fact about his beloved husband, to which he couldn't help but grace the silent night with a wide pleasant smile...

{+} Fuji's honest and unwavering heart...
Despite all insecurities brought about by his Alzheimer's Disease, Fuji has allowed himself to get close to one particular person, letting this one person inside his unguarded heart. He bared himself open before this person, because the Tensai knows he could trust him fully and never be let down. He believes that only with this person he could be his true self and throw aside all his facades. Fuji could show this person all his flaws, defects, and eccentricities, and this person will still stay by his side and assure him of his perfection in this person's eyes. Even if the Tenshi's brain could someday forget his existence, this person will never forget him nor let him thread his future alone - as Fuji is fully confident that his own body, heart, and soul will never ever fail to remember and recognize this special person... his buchou... his friend... his rival... his pillar of support... his confidant... his lover... his husband... Fuji Syuusuke's own Tezuka Kunimitsu.

The disease's progress has been graciously slow, thanks to both their dutiful compliance with all the precautionary and preventive measures currently available; nonetheless, Tezuka is determined to do everything in his power and capabilities to keep Fuji from meeting the same fate as his predecessors. For the love and sake of his precious Tenshi, he knows and believes that he needs to and will definitely find the cure for Alzheimer's Disease, or he will die trying!

Now fully energized, Tezuka was meaning to resume working, when he heard a mumbled shuffling across from his pile. Upon looking up, he instantly noted how uncomfortable Fuji's form seemed to be, falling asleep while working on his own projects and accompanying his husband on his late nights - reminding him how his beloved said it's lonesome sleeping alone in their bed.

Feeling the loving affection pouring from those word, he allowed himself to freely - though softly low - chuckle in delighted adoration, before walking over to his husband's side of the table. Then, he carefully moved Fuji towards himself, gently lifting his lithe form in bridal style, causing the sleeping brunette to dreamingly moan, unconsciously wrap his slender arms around Tezuka's neck and snuggle contently at his chest, as he was carried into their room...

But even after being laid comfortably on their bed, Fuji refused to let go of his lover's neck, whispering his dream's content with a genuine smile, "... I love you, my Mitsu~"

Unconsciously or unconsciously, those affectionate words from his beloved Fuji never fails to bring his heart - no matter how frustratedly tired and weary - immense peace of mind and happiness. So encompassing the feeling was, that Tezuka willingly succumbed into Fuji's warm embrace and the softness of their bed. The megane mentally noted that he needs to and will definitely and positively accomplish his important research in the shortest possible time, but, for now, having his beloved Fuji in his arms is of highest importance... These shared moments will always be as important as all the memories they have together, captured or not by Fuji's camera's lens.

"I love you, too, my dearest Syuusuke~" Tezuka pressed a gentle goodnight kissed on Fuji's forehead, lacing his own formidable arms lovingly and protectively around his slim waist, before allowing sleep to claim him with the remaining of the night.

.-* I can be your hero, baby
.-* I can kiss away the pain
.-* I will stand by you forever
.-* You can take my breath away

The future is still undecided, but both hearts knew they will always find, recognize, remember, and love each other whatever time and space condition they are to live in - in sickness and in health, in richer and in poorer, not even death can do them part - to be together come what may... A promise of eternity...

.-* You can take my breath away

OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO

A/N: This project was kind of hard for me to write, considering that I initially intended for it to be written in Tezuka-sempai's first-person view, before changing it into a third-party narration, and adding to the equation my chosen challenge of a topic. *scratched back of head, while laughing timidly* I hope I gave the whole write-up justice though, as I did try my very best to subtly express the saddening gradual memory loss of one suffering from Alzheimer's Disease, and the fictional explanation of Fuji-sempai's habits, mannerisms and eccentricities in relation to the illness. I did convey both sempai's to be determined and head-strong despite their circumstance, and showed how they genuinely love, trust, and devotion to each other - and they're actually married in this project, for five years and counting! ^_~

How did I do? *wide smile with big cosmic puppy-dog eyes* Comments, reviews, even constructive criticisms are very much appreciated. O_O*