Learning to Fall. 
by Suteishichic

Chapter Thirty Three ~ Fuji

Warnings: Yaoi, Love, Angst, Fluff, and Lots of Sex. Some kink. You've been warned ;)

Disclaimer: Nope not mine. Still in my dreams. ;)

Fuji surprised himself, discovering he was extremely hungry only after he started eating. Some of that may have been the incredible food of all Fuji's favorites Eiji had prepared. Some of it may have been from the embarrassment and shame Fuji felt nearly having to disrobing in front of his friends to show them how hurt he really was.

Fuji also had thought he had hidden his injuries well from Tezuka the day before. Sure, he would know he was hurt, but not the extent of the damage. Tezuka said nothing until in the restaurant the moment they were alone, then he floored Fuji with a calm, well-phrased, question. "How bad are you hurt?"

Just like that, just like him, out of nowhere he defeats Fuji's scheme and sense of pride with five words. It didn't help that those five words in that person's voice have the ability to make Fuji swoon either. Or that Tezuka knows it.

Fuji in that instant wished his friends would return but suspected, if he got up and went to the men's room, he would find them lip-locked and happy. Laughing and kissing. As he saw them in the perfume shop the other day. The fact was, they were in love and he and Tezuka, were not.

That thought hurt Fuji as it seared through him. He used that pain to mask the pain his body felt so he was able to answer calmly and with a smile, "Not bad."

"Don't lie to me Fuji, I need to know."

Fuji knew he was still smiling, but the pain he felt in his heart threatened even his constantly calculated mask. "Why?" he asked simply.

"Because I'm your Vice-Captain." Fuji knew the words would hurt him. He knew exactly what Tezuka would say before Fuji even asked the question, but he asks it or something like it, everytime. Without any idea why he had a Pavlovian need to hear Tezuka say he didn't care about him each time they talked. It was boring of him, Fuji knew.

Hot tears still stung Fuji's eyes so he looked down, suddenly unable to even smile, and feeling like he might throw up the little food he forced himself to eat. Fuji was struggling to just impassively say "Ah." or anything, but his throat was closed tight with tears and shame.

"...and because I care about you." Tezuka finished a second later.

Fuji froze. It was like someone had let all the air out of the room.

And of course, it was at that moment that their waitress came over with the bill. Fuji sat frozen, staring down at nothing. The tablecloth. His hands. He just realized then that part of his leg was touching Tezuka's. He had no idea how long that had gone on for or why Tezuka had not moved his longer legs away, as always. Maybe he had not noticed either. Maybe but not likely. Fuji listened as Tezuka paid, told the waitress to keep the change, and sat waiting for Fuji.

It seemed like Tezuka was always waiting for Fuji and Fuji never understood why or what he was waiting for.

It also seemed to be that, Fuji, who knew he was sure-footed and clever, always knew less than everyone else. As if everyone else was playing a game that he had no rule book for. So no matter what counters he came up with to win the game, making the most of his advantages, and covering for his weaknesses, his plans all became poor guesses, and he was lost.

That was it exactly. Fuji realized. I am lost.

Which is only a step away from, I lost.

Fuji knew he was hanging over the edge of that black hole. He always was. The void that called to him and always threatened to suck him back in and never let him go. It beckoned with lulling sounds of safety and sleep. It had found him once and it may find him again. It drew very near to him. It was Oishi who pulled him out. Oishi and then Eiji.

Fuji also realized that it was only because his two friends really loved each other that he didn't pull them and their new relationship down into the darkness with him. It could easily have gone another way. Eiji not understanding or forgiving either of them. Oishi falling into despair at the loss of Eiji. Eiji after his anger cooled, joining Oishi. The black hole loomed and lorded its hold over Fuji and all who cared about him. Fuji knew. He had seen it before.

Maybe Tezuka mistakenly thought that it would just go away. That one day it would give up and pass over like a raincloud. And maybe that was what he waited for. Fuji didn't know. But he was still sitting there waiting when Fuji found his voice and smile again. And then as always, they were interrupted. Oishi came back and Fuji made a joke about Eiji and his hair to cover for his friend.

Oishi was embarrassed but was having too much fun loving Eiji to stop or fully censor himself. The beginnings of love Fuji well remembered, were an amazing time. Fuji was happy for his friends and jealous all at the same time. And then Eiji was there and they were leaving, going back to Fuji's, and Tezuka came along too.

Fuji was in a state akin to panic when they got back to his house. What did Tezuka think they would do? Watch a movie, all four of them? chat of tennis more? watch TV? play a board game? what?

So Fuji struggled to get them tea with Tezuka watching his every step, noticing each painful movement, memorizing it, and recording it. Fuji then went upstairs and planned just on drawing a bath to get away. Wanting to drown himself in it. At least there, he could let his mask fall away, and cry in peace.

He went into his room to change, and had just taken off his shirt when Tezuka surprised him. He had followed him, knocked softly, and walked in. Fuji had held his shirt up to himself as if to cover himself. Cover his bruises. Something to hold onto. Anything.

Tezuka crossed the room, and Fuji again felt like he could not breathe. His heart was racing. His mouth was dry. He distantly heard the door to Yuuta's room close as Tezuka took the shirt gently from his hands, and saw the damage. Tezuka shut his eyes for a moment as if he were the one hurt. When Fuji saw that, pity, he blushed and turned his face away. He thought Tezuka would be mad at him. Ask him what he had done. Waited for him to be angry at him. To blame him. To yell.

Tezuka surprisingly, gently, took Fuji into his arms and held him close. Fuji stayed frozen in Tezuka's arms. Forcibly willing his own arms to not go around Tezuka, knowing he would be even more lost if they did.

Tezuka kissed into Fuji's hair, and Fuji felt hot tears falling down his own cheeks from his eyes that had betrayed him. "Fuji..." Tezuka had whispered not letting go, but somehow taking Fuji's arms and putting them around himself. "Syusuke..." He whispered bringing his cheek to Fuji's. Tezuka must have felt the tears and turned to look at Fuji, surprised that the smiling stone could cry, Fuji supposed.

Tezuka brushed away the tears and kissed Fuji gently.

And Fuji, being a fool, sobbed right into his mouth. Surely then Tezuka would stop, disgusted with Fuji not being able to control himself even that much.

Tezuka kept kissing Fuji though, caressing him, kissing his neck, whispering his name, and smoothing his hair. He kissed each bruise gently and the sting of pain became a promise of pleasure. Tezuka knew all about that when it came to Fuji too. He kept kissing Fuji, and gently guided Fuji to sit on the bed. He placed Fuji's legs around his waist, wrapped Fuji's arms around his neck, and picked Fuji up, carrying him easily as if he were a child. Tezuka held him gently all the way down the hall to the bathroom. He closed and locked the door as he set Fuji on the counter by the sink. He turned on the bathtub, adjusted the water temperature, and then went back to kissing Fuji.

His kisses were calm, gentle, loving, and tender. Fuji had never seen this side of him before. Usually Tezuka was angry, very passionate, but angry as if Tezuka blamed Fuji because he wanted him. Like Fuji was at fault all along. Maybe he was, he mused.

Fuji, who usually tried to take control by this point, was simply too spent and too lost to try. He just let whatever was going to happen, happen. Fuji felt too hurt, inside and out, to think how to win anymore.

Fuji knew part of him was very angry at Tezuka for not coming to save him. Fuji was even angrier at himself for wanting him to. It had not taken very much to inflame the senpai, once Fuji noticed his eyes were always watching. Always looking. Always longing.

It had not taken much at all. A long lingering look here and there, a few soft touches, a low laugh, a murmured word or two, and he was mad, crazed with wanting Fuji. Fuji burned with guilt and shame for having twisted someone else's passion into such hot angry need. Need that came back around and burned Fuji.

No, it had not taken very much. Far, far, far less than what Fuji had done to Tezuka, with Tezuka. Yet no matter how much Fuji did to inflame Tezuka he increasingly resisted, showing vast, seemingly unending reserves of restraint. Restraint Fuji lost as he lost more and more of his own heart to Tezuka in the process. Why was it always Fuji who was burned either way?

Tezuka should have been watching, should have known something was wrong, should have seen. He should have sensed, as ridiculous as Fuji knows this is, he wanted Tezuka in that moment to sense it and save him. Instead it was Oishi, poor, sweet, well-meaning Oishi who had literally saved Fuji. Fuji knew he was seconds? a minute? away from being raped.

Fuji had tried to fight back at first but he was too big, to angry, too enraged, too inflamed. Fuji went into survival mode honed over years of being hurt, he detatched himself and froze.

Fuji shuddered then at the memory of the mess he had created, and Tezuka held Fuji closer now until the memory of that moment, the shame, the anger, and the tears passed. Then Tezuka resumed kissing and undressing Fuji slowly with his hands and mouth.

Tezuka should have saved him. But earlier it was Oishi, a very enraged Oishi, one Fuji never even knew existed, who was there to save Fuji, comfort him, care for him, love him. Fuji, in anger at his own stupidity, at Tezuka for not coming, at the senpai for being weak and hurtful, at himself for wanting himself to be saved even more, he latched onto Oishi's kindness and kissed him. Beautiful, gentle, naked Oishi.

Oishi never kissed Fuji back.

That hurt.

That burned too.

Because it reminded Fuji of someone else. Of his first love. Of another time Fuji was very wrong and didn't have the rule book. Another time when he nearly destroyed both himself and his lover not understanding the game or how to win. Fuji had let his thoughts drift back in that moment while he kissed Oishi, realizing he had not put his past fully behind him. He had not kissed what he had done nor that person goodbye.

Perhaps that was what Tezuka waited for. Fuji to step away from his past and move on. Fuji thought all these things when he was holding onto Oishi, waiting for Oishi to give Fuji the slightest affection back. Fuji remembered how Oishi was with Eiji, how gentle, how tender, how lovingly he kissed him, and his rejection both seared and reminded Fuji of things he thought he had long forgotten.

Then suddenly in that moment, Eiji was there and Fuji wished he could have taken his selfish act back. Fuji felt deflated, defeated. Exhausted from fighting all the time. Fighting his desires with his will and fighting to inflame a spark of passion, a shred of affection, a vestige of love in the one who held Fuji's heart in his careless hands.

Suddenly Eiji was there, caught in the fallout from Fuji's latest disaster in a lifelong series of them. Eiji, horrified, and shocked, and so, so hurt. Fuji thought it would be the death of Eiji and Oishi, their relationship, and their hearts. Fuji thought in that moment that Eiji would never, ever in a million years forgive Oishi. Fuji knew that if the tables were turned, if Fuji saw Eiji locked onto Tezuka like that, Fuji would be destroyed. But then again, Fuji was wrong. He often was these days. He was an idiot savant when it came to love.

Tezuka had taken off his clothes as well as Fuji's by now. Fuji marveled again at his beauty. It took Fuji out of his dark thoughts. He wanted to touch him, kiss him, caress him, make Tezuka moan with pleasure at Fuji's deft touch. Fuji resisted moving but he could not resist looking or wanting. The beautiful strength of him. The careless beauty and sculpted muscle Tezuka possessed.

Possessed without realizing or seeming to care. Much like he possessed Fuji's heart.

Others would have to work themselves full time to craft and hone an amazing feat of genetics and discipline to create such perfection, but Tezuka was cut and finely honed from working on his craft, his game, and the beauty was a side effect. Something Tezuka had to learn to live with. The shaggy hair cut that Fuji discovered Tezuka cut himself, too impatient to sit and let someone groom him. Fuji had cut his hair once. Tezuka had let him. Fuji still had some locks of it saved among his treasured possessions. But otherwise, when a piece got too long Tezuka cut it. He had no fears or reservations of how he looked. He simply did not care. That did not matter to him.

Although Tezuka, a constant study in contrasts, enjoyed looking at beauty, being surrounded by beauty, and being one with it. But for Tezuka beauty was found outside, not in a mirror. Tezuka even found Fuji beautiful. Fuji knew he was attractive. Though unusually so. His parts were each nice, fine bone structure, a little feminine, just enough to captivate, not enough to deter.

He knew his eyes were an unusual color, he had heard it from male and female admirers all the time, how lost they felt when Fuji looked at them, through them. Fuji knew his mouth was sensual, full, and sexy. He had honed his voice to a soft silky mystery and his body was toned and tanned from his exertions as well. Fuji was strong and flexible, more flexible than most would imagine in a man, the result of years of yoga for strength and balance. And Fuji was stronger than his slight stature would suggest. Stronger inside and out. Looks, Fuji knew from knowing himself, were deceiving. Fuji was attractive and intriguing, but Tezuka was the embodiment of male youth and beauty.

Fuji ached for him.

Tezuka was still kissing Fuji, and Fuji felt any last vestiges of will dissolving. Fuji worried briefly that if he responded it might, scare Tezuka away. Again. And suddenly Fuji didn't care. In fact, he had to keep himself from laughing.

Fuji thought of Oishi and Eiji to distract himself. Eiji who threw himself into the air and landed hard all the time earlier saying Oishi was learning to fall. Maye Fuji had just never learned to fall. Maybe Tezuka never had either. Maybe Fuji just needed to fall, just this once and not worry about getting hurt when he landed, because he was already hurt.

Something in Fuji just let go. Right then. He felt it.

Fuji watched as Tezuka removed his glasses and stepped into the bathtub, holding on to Fuji's hand, kissing him, helping him step in after him. Tezuka washed Fuji gently, lovingly, from head to toe. He sat behind Fuji and washed his hair, rinsing it with water poured from his cupped hands. Fuji, for once, made no noise. He asked Tezuka no questions, and made no remarks distracting Tezuka regarding where this was heading, how he felt, what was he thinking.

Fuji just let it happen. As if he was watching a dream, a very good dream, but a dream unfold. Fuji made no move for once to take control, to stay in control, to speed them up or slow them down as they made war with love. Fuji just let go.

When Fuji was washed to his satisfaction, Tezuka turned Fuji around. It was a generous bathtub, and if Fuji wrapped his legs around Tezuka's waist he could sit comfortably facing him. Following Tezuka's lead, he did, suppressing a moan when their erections touched. Fuji let Tezuka kiss and caress him, only returning the kisses and touching where Tezuka moved Fuji's own hands. Tezuka moved Fuji's hands all over himself, wherever he wanted Fuji to touch him. Fuji let him have complete control.

Tezuka decided their bath was over. He dried Fuji off and towel dried his hair before dressing him in his black silk robe. Then he dried himself off. Tezuka washed out the bathtub and took their clothes back to Fuji's room. He told Fuji he should tell Oishi and Eiji the bathroom was available for them and that Fuji was going to sleep. Fuji, not arguing for once, complied, even letting Tezuka adjust his robe to make sure none of his bruises showed.

When Fuji returned, Tezuka was naked in his bed. Waiting for him. Fuji still in his robe, lay down beside him on his back. Tezuka opened the robe and gently touched Fuji everywhere. Sliding his warm hands in a caress all over his skin, feeling him, and making Fuji weak with hunger and passion. Fuji made no move to stop him or take control for once. It never even entered his mind.

Tezuka gently slipped the robe off his shoulders and arms, softly pulled it out from under him, and let it fall to the floor in a soft, silken sigh. He rolled Fuji onto his stomach. He climbed on Fuji as he had times before, kissing Fuji's neck and back. But this time he continued kissing, only kissing, his way down. He did it slowly, as if enjoying it. He licked and put his tongue inside Fuji, lapping at him, making Fuji shudder and weak with want as he waited for Tezuka to climb on, finish, and then leave as he always did.

But he didn't.

Fuji felt Tezuka's fingers wet with lube, one working its way inside him, and then a second, exquisitely slow and gentle, exploring inside Fuji. Tezuka, for once, did not seem to be in a hurry. Instead he seemed to be making patience into a pleasureable torture. Fuji was in agony and ecstasy, wanting release, wanting him, and not wanting to say a word or move. He was terrified that if he did, Tezuka would stop, or go back to how he usually was, and so this time, Fuji waited too.

Tezuka eventually rolled Fuji gently over onto his back again, kissing him. Fuji was confused, enjoying himself but confused. Tezuka was excited, and acting sweet, like a lover, murmuring Fuji's name and kissing his lips, his mouth, his face. He touched Fuji's throbbing hard erection, something he rarely ever did, with his hands and then with even his mouth taking Fuji inside his soft warm mouth just to please him. Fuji knew that for his small build, he was very generously endowed. It was a blessing and a curse to be so large. Tezuka took him in his mouth as deep as he could and what he couldn't take in his mouth he took in his hand. He moaned around Fuji as he pleasured him, as if Tezuka enjoyed it too. As if he was savoring him. As if he wanted to please him.

Fuji was too scared to come or even fully relax, he did not want this to stop or end, and he was able to control the shudders of pleasure that rippled through him only because the pain from his injuries kept him from losing himself in the pleasure. Tezuka knew it held Fuji back and Fuji knew it too. There is pleasure in pain as well.

Tezuka stopped, apparently not wanting Fuji to come yet, and went back to kissing Fuji's mouth again. He was whispering his name, "Syusuke..." and touching Fuji all over. Tezuka had again lubricated his fingers and placed them again inside Fuji as he stroked Fuji's erection making Fuji whimper with pleasure and want even as Fuji tried to make no sound. Tezuka removed his fingers and went to replace them with his hard erection. He looked at Fuji as if asking if he could first. Fuji said nothing, he only lowered his hips to the pleasure that he wanted, and by now needed. In response Tezuka kissed him again. Fuji waited for the rough hard thrusts that usually came but this time, Tezuka was gentle, loving, almost sweet.

He lingered kissing Fuji, facing him for the first time ever while he slowly entered him, holding Fuji close, whispering his name still, and touching Fuji's now well lubricated erection with his tennis calloused hands. He kissed any tears that fell from Fuji's eyes and paused until he saw Fuji was ready to let him gently continue. Tezuka slowly, so slowly, using little, small, gentle, almost half motions filled Fuji. When he was all the way inside him, when there was nothing else between them, he stopped, and to Fuji's pleasure and agony and kissed him. Deeply and passionately kissed him.

As if he was trying to say how much he cared by making love.

As if it was not cruel to Fuji that Tezuka was capable of this the entire time, and it just never happened before.

Tezuka kissed and stroked Fuji while being completely inside him, not moving, for a long time. Nearly driving Fuji out of his mind. Fuji counted eight times he wanted to demand that Tezuka move and finish. Fuji normally would have. Normally, or normally for them, Tezuka was behind him, leaving Fuji to stroke himself, as Tezuka thrust his passion and want into him. Leaving Fuji to finish himself. Sated but never satisfied.

This Tezuka, whoever he was, placed Fuji's hands on his hips and wrapped them around himself. As if showing Fuji how to love back. This Tezuka, this stranger who filled him, loved and stroked Fuji with the exact right touch as he kissed him. Fuji after so long, let go a little more, he sighed in pleasure and gave a little moan as he did. He could not help it. Fuji was not even aware that he had been holding his breath or for how long he had held it. Years?

After the little moan, Tezuka kept kissing him and started moving with long gentle strokes inside him. He hit a spot inside Fuji that felt incredible and Fuji raised his hips to meet him in pleasure, unable to control himself anymore. Years of Yoga enabling Fuji to tilt his hips and take even more of Tezuka's hard length inside him. And Tezuka, the usual Tezuka, who would normally seem annoyed or disgusted at Fuji for making noise, rearing himself up, not controlling himself, disrupting Tezuka's pace was gone, this Tezuka looked surprised, pleased, and he smiled and kissed Fuji more.

Once Tezuka found that spot inside Fuji he then found a pace that had Fuji moaning softly against his will to stay silent as Tezuka moaned and whispered his name, "Syusuke...Syusuke...Syusuke..." over and over, still kissing Fuji, stroking him, and loving him. Fuji met and matched each long slow stroke within him. Fuji was shaking now and to his surprise, so was Tezuka. Trembling. In each others arms. Still kissing.

Tezuka paused for a moment as if making sure Fuji was all right. He kissed him. Then he started moving inside him again and stroking Fuji inside and out in perfect rhythm. Fuji thrust his hips up to meet him one more time, as Tezuka touched that place inside him. Fuji felt Tezuka start to shudder, as if he would try to hold back. He was kissing Fuji, and he gasped and whispered, "Syusuke..." Fuji came just then feeling Tezuka shudder and come inside him at the same time. Fuji thought his long sweet orgasm would never end, and he never wanted it to. Fuji made barely any noise even as he came shuddering hard, so afraid that this might be a dream, and he would wake himself.

Tezuka kept kissing Fuji long after they were done. He held him tight, kissed him, caressed him, murmurred his name, and then after a long while, he got up.

Fuji expected him to get dressed and go without another word.

Like usual.

But this Tezuka brought a cloth back and cleaned Fuji first and then himself. He then handed Fuji a glass of cool water to drink, and then drank from the same glass before setting it back down. Then to Fuji's total shock he pulled back the covers and slid, naked still, back into bed wrapping his arms around Fuji. He kissed the tensai on his mouth and then his forehead. "Are you comfortable?" He asked not knowing at all how Fuji slept.

Fuji made himself comfortable by laying his head on Tezuka's shoulder, wrapping an arm around him, wanting to keep this Tezuka, whoever he was there, and hoping that maybe if Fuji just held onto him, he might still be there in the morning. Fuji worried even this Tezuka would turn away, and then leave in response to Fuji putting his arm around him. But this Tezuka didn't. He held Fuji in his arms wrapping them tighter around Fuji, kissing his forehead, his lips, loving him, and he whispered his name again, "Syusuke..." Making Fuji close his eyes in a long slow sigh of contentment.

Fuji wondered if this was pity? Anger at not being there? Anger at Fuji? Wanting to stake his claim? Fuji even thought of asking this guy where was Tezuka and what had this stranger done with him? If this was all Fuji ever wanted, then why did it feel like he didn't have any of it to hold on to? Why did it take something bad for something good?

Fuji found he was trembling. Trembling in Tezuka's arms. He cried a few tears then. Hot stinging ones. This Tezuka was there, kissing his face, holding him, telling him it would be all right, Shhh. Tezuka held him while Fuji cried. He kissed and loved him the entire time.

When the crying spell was over, Tezuka handed more water to Fuji to drink, and then handed Fuji his handkerchief. Fuji used it to dry any last tears that Tezuka hadn't already kissed away. Tezuka held Fuji's hand, lacing their fingers together. He held their hands up to the moonlight spilling in through the window. His left to Fuji's right, remarking on how much smaller than his Fuji's were, but how strong they were too. He compared their callouses. He kissed Fuji's hand and held it in his. Then Tezuka curled the two of them up closer together and kissed and murmured to Fuji, until Fuji fell into a deep sleep. Unlike any sleep Fuji had ever known. He felt safe. He felt special. He felt...loved.

And when the tensai woke up early in the morning, hearing the shower down the end of the hall going, he knew with a wrenching sorrow that he was alone again. Both this new and that old Tezuka were gone. The magic spell was broken. Fuji felt the ache of their love making and knew he had not dreamed it, but he felt hollow and empty inside. As if he was given an incredible present or a puppy and then told the next morning it was gone, dead. Lost.

You lost.

There was not even any evidence last night and all it meant had ever even really happened. Today Fuji was even more sore than yesterday where he was hurt. All the problems from yesterday were looming over today still. His eyes and forehead hurt from crying the night before, and he felt he knew nothing and held even less. Tears were stinging his eyes and his throat was tight. The glass of water was empty he found when he went to reach for it. He noticed there was something, soft as his silk robe, in his hand.

A handkerchief.


Fuji lay in bed holding it a long time, turning it over in his hand, his hand that was smaller but strong. He smelled it, kissed it, even shed a tear or two on it smiling and wondering, who in this day and age actually carried a handkerchief? What other junior high school student did?

Fuji heard the shower stop, and his friends enter Yuuta's room softly whispering and laughing. A little while later he heard them go downstairs and starting breakfast. Fuji sat up, his head reeling, and when he felt he could stand and breathe again, without falling, he went to shower, washing any last vestiges of last night away.

He got ready for school and slipped the handkerchief into his pocket. He knew he would idly touch it and finger it all day.

A talisman, a token, a gesture, a wish, a chance.

Now he was eating and watching two dear friends of his love each other with every part of their being, and he found it still seared him. It was part jealousy, and part lonliness. But their affection for each other was also contagious, as was the fact that they cared about Fuji as well. He was their friend, and they were his.

He wondered if he should learn to let go more often. How do you learn how to fall? He wondered if he even could. He would have to ask Eiji.

He wondered if he already was learning to fall, like Oishi had for Eiji. Looking at them, so happy, so in love, Fuji was filled with a sense of...hope.

He submitted himself to their inspection and ministrations, at first ashamed as if they could see what happened yesterday, and maybe even last night, scarred into his skin. As if his emotions, frozen in him, would melt suddenly, and pour out of his mouth, finally set free.

They almost had, with both his friends worrying and touching him, trying to make him feel better. Caring for him and loving him.

He even had a random sexual thought that buzzed by his brain again wondering what it would be like to be in between these two new lovers when they were loving each other? What would it be like to be a part of something like that? When someone loves you completely and you love them back just as much? What is that like?

Fuji briefly, longlinly, touched the square of soft cloth in his pocket.

Then Eiji asked him if the food was bad, looking so earnest and having made Fuji's favorites and so much because that was part of how he cared for those he loved.

Or maybe, Eiji made so much because he too, thought for a moment, Tezuka might possibly still be there.

The food was good, his friends were good, and for the first time in a long time Fuji felt he might just be okay after all.

The black hole seemed very far away today.

And Fuji surprised even himself with how hungry he was.

On to Chapter 34!!