Learning to Fall. 
by Suteishichic

Chapter Sixty Two ~ 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 was finishing up his set. Inui, crestfallen, had left a long time ago after a guy walked up to the DJ booth and requested a song. Inui greeted him as an old and good friend only to receive a stony silence in response. Fuji had tried to see if Inui wanted to hear something else instead, to talk to him, to cheer him up, but Inui said a very stiff no thanks, gathered his things, and bid them both a good evening. Otherwise the time had flown by, and Tezuka, to his pleasure, was still watching Fuji closely. Still looking at the tensai as if he was an angel that he loved, cherished, and wanted. He had not left his side once.

Fuji had a short time ago decided that overall, this was the most perfect day he has ever had in his life. Immediately after deciding this, he felt nearly overcome with worry. He suddenly wished he could know exactly when the bottom would drop out, when it would all come crashing down, and how hard it would hurt. He tried to put all that aside for the moment, if for no other reason than because the destruction and devastation were inevitable regardless. He had learned over time that the happier he is, the greater the loss, the worse his disappointment, the worse the pain. Fuji knows he has never been so completely content before, therefore, he is close to being completely terrified.

Terrified but determined to enjoy these last moments of pure happiness for however long they lasted. He resolved to cling to this with his hands and even his teeth if he has to, just to squeeze as much goodness, as much happiness out now. This way, even when the hurt comes, even if it destroys him, he can look back and know he had one, good, almost perfect, day when he was truly happy and felt completely loved. It sounded like a good workable plan of action so he set about it.

When they arrived, Fuji had no idea Tezuka had ever been here. Actually, he was stunned that he had been here. Stunned and then instantly, acutely, jealous, painfully so. He felt questions bubbling up in him. He wanted to know who Tezuka had been here with, when he was here last, why didn't Fuji know...? Fuji remembered his resolve to enjoy these moments now, no matter the cost or the pain later, and because of this, somehow, Fuji was able to let go.

He reminded himself that Tezuka was here at his bequest. Tezuka was still looking at Fuji as if he was incredible. His hand before the club, most of the evening had been down the back of Fuji's pants, lightly tracing tempting circles on Fuji's skin as a gentle, though completely unnecessary reminder of Tezuka's strong, intoxicating presence. Tezuka was here, with Fuji, now, that was what was important. He was here because he wanted to please Fuji, that was important too. Tezuka was still silently claiming Fuji. Declaring him as Tezuka's. Only his. It made Fuji very happy. Tezuka made Fuji very happy.

Tezuka gave Fuji space when he started. Right when he needed it. And he had needed it. Fuji knew he would look as calm as ever, but the reality was he was a mess when he went to start tonight. The tensai's knees were shaking as if he had to speak in front of a large group of people. Fuji's palms were sweating from nerves, and his stomach was so twisted in knots of anxiety it felt like he had swallowed kittens whole who were fighting to come out of his belly via his throat. When they walked in the familiar booth, Fuji was probably smiling as was his self-taught way, but it was all he could do to put one foot in front of the other, hold his own weight up, and remember to continue to breathe in and out again, while his heart pounded and his hands shook. Tezuka miraculously gave Fuji space. Just perfectly enough so that Fuji could at least function. If he hadn't, Fuji would have not been able to start, let alone impress and astound the one person who constantly impressed and astounded him.

Although, just before giving Fuji space, Tezuka did stand threateningly in front of the previous DJ. Without saying a word, he told the guy to go away and protected Fuji until the guy backed down. Fuji was then thrilled at how adorably sheepish Tezuka looked at Fuji after the guy left. As if Tezuka worried he somehow had overstepped a boundary and Fuji would be angry with him. Fuji had been surprised, very surprised, that Tezuka did that, but the tensai was also very pleased and relieved. With Fuji's nerves already tied in a Gordian knot, the last thing he had needed was any kind of confrontation. He was grateful that Tezuka chivalrously stepped in.

Fuji then watched Tezuka go to the corner where friends often stood to hang out with whoever was spinning. Tezuka did not look for a good place to stand but went automatically right there. He seemed very comfortable there. It was very familiar to him. He had been there many times Fuji realized. Before Fuji. Luckily, at that moment, Fuji's jealousy was nothing compared to his nervousness. So instead it became a strange, detached mix of curiosity and study rather than the white hot anger, or the questions and the insecurities that would normally have plagued the tensai.

The moment Fuji started, because Fuji was focused, his nerves stopped hopping around. It was that way when he was younger also, but it had been years since Fuji had been this nervous about anything. When he was young, his nerves had given him a terrible time. Fuji could not eat anything the day he played and still he would be terribly ill before each match. Then moment he picked up his racket and started to play, the instant his brain focused, a serenity descended upon him. Even if he had been violently ill from nerves a minute before and thought he would pass out before ever touching a toe to the court, the second he was standing there, his knees stopped their shivering, his hands stopped sweating and shaking, and the angry kittens in his stomach fell into a pleasant sleep. His brain took over problem solving the match, his body moved perfectly as his brain ordered it to, and Fuji was free. He was freed from his overactive brain, his nerves, his insecurities, his life, his problems, and his emotions, the moment he started to move.

So, Fuji moved now. His brain went into several directions, solving and equating, his body moved in response, and just like tennis back then, he was able to leave his emotions now with the music and the work he did there. He was free and was able to let that little bit left of his mind that was not completely focused on music, wonder about things with Tezuka. Just as when he played tennis, only then he was able to ponder what was best to do about Yuuta or his family or Tezuka, or any other emotional thing that upset or bothered him. He was able to think about everything, even terrible things, only when moving, only when playing. Otherwise, his thoughts would cause him too much pain, the emotions would have him a wreck, and he would literally shut down. But when he focused and moved he was free.

Free to consider if Tezuka did not tell him he had been here before because Fuji had simply never asked, or if Tezuka was hiding something. Hiding something from Fuji. Maybe even something from himself. It was entirely possible. People hid things from themselves all the time. Then again, it was just as likely that he was surprised that Fuji came here. Perhaps Tezuka figured out that this was where Fuji had brought Eve before taking her back home. Until Tezuka called. And begged. It was certainly understandable if Tezuka was too angry to tell him.

At the time, his begging had felt extremely satisfying for Fuji. It was a huge turn on. A rush of power. A triumph. A major victory. It had made Fuji feel powerful and wanted. But Fuji felt bad about it now. Extremely bad. The fact that he invited Tezuka over back then, on the phone after Tezuka begged, and Tezuka turned him down, remembering it now made Fuji cringe. Now he realized it was no victory for either of them. They both had lost that night. That they had both felt this way about each other and Fuji treated it, Tezuka's feelings, and him, like a game or a toy was terrible. Even worse, that they were both capable of beautiful days and loving each other like this and neither one had seemed to know. It was nearly unthinkable that they almost missed out on all of this completely.

He realized now, instead of celebrating about feeling wanted, Fuji should have been wanting to feel loved. To be loved and treated well and to do the same back. Fuji felt horrible. Feeling bad though, he suddenly realized, was still feeling. An emotion breaking through while he was free, when he was focused, working, or playing was an odd and unprecedented happening. He considered this as he started to wrap things up to leave. He extended where he was and planned to leave enough space for the next DJ, an older woman he really liked as a person, to come in wherever she felt best. This would be his finish and then he and Tezuka could go wherever Tezuka had planned.

Fuji wondered where that would be because clearly Tezuka had a plan in mind. Tezuka had worn no coat, but had given Fuji a small, heavy, zipped pouch and asked him before they left if he would hold it for him. Fuji slipped it into one of his coat pockets and was now glad he had checked his coat so he wouldn't again be tempted to peek. Fuji loved and hated surprises because they were unknowns. He had learned that there were in the world, many more bad surprises than good ones. The good ones only served to make the bad ones that happened often seem worse. The very few good ones contained bright wished for glimpses of hope that made the bad ones worse. Losing your hope over and over again was hard. It could break you if you let it.

And yet, Fuji mulled over the old sayings that hope springs eternal. Or where there is life there is hope. Or hope is only the love of life. Hope is a waking dream. He that lives on hope will die fasting. Take hope from the heart of man and you've made him a beast of prey. We promise according to our hopes and perform according to our fears. He who has never hoped can never despair. Despair is vinegar from the wine of hope.

Fuji decided that in general, he hated wrapped mysteries but considered that whatever it was in the small heavy bag would be fun. It was Tezuka after all and the day and the evening thus far had been wonderful. Fuji decided it would be something unexpected and wonderful even if it seemed mysterious and intriguing now. A gift you never expected to get, like a birthday present arriving every year with no sender's name.

Fuji was even tempted during the movie to slip out to the men's room and see, but thought that Tezuka simply would not allow him to. That somehow, in some pleasant way, Tezuka would further control him. Fuji had instead touched the zipper and the pouch a few times before Tezuka completely distracted him, unable to resist touching and exploring the mystery. But the tensai never got a clue what was inside it. Then Tezuka simply enchanted Fuji since and the tensai had not thought again about that mysterious heavy little bag until now.

The entire time Fuji was here, Tezuka watched him and seemed to enjoy watching him. He barely said a word, but his eyes saw everything. Occasionally he gave Fuji that small smile, the one he gave only to him. It made Fuji's pulse race. He made Fuji feel wonderful. Fuji still had a sense of Tezuka's hand on his lower back, still felt his finger sliding further down, making little circles, teasing him, touching him. It was like an invisible tether to him all night, Fuji still felt it. Still felt him. Still felt them connected. Ah. He was so damn good.

Fuji had been touched at seeing how surprisingly sweet Tezuka was with Inui. Fuji had long been aware of Inui's feelings for Tezuka. Everyone close to Tezuka was. Inui never tried to hide his feelings, even if he did justify them with a strange need, a badly learned protective habit, of making his emotions and feelings sound logical. Inui even warned Fuji away from Tezuka when the tensai first came to Seigaku. Basically stating that Tezuka was his including all of his reasons why he was his. In a nice, polite, and logical way, of course. All the while, Inui never really noticed that Tezuka did not share or return Inui's feelings, with or without his data.

It was serendipitous that Inui happened to be here. Although Fuji was sorry if Inui's feelings were hurt earlier in the process, but Inui was able to show Tezuka precisely what Fuji was capable of. Fuji knew that Tezuka did understand, mostly, even before Inui's brilliant program and graphical display. Seeing, though, is believing and after showing him, then the tensai saw Tezuka really understood. He really got it. He really got Fuji.

This both pleased and scared Fuji a little, probably because Fuji worried what cost, feeling so happy and pleased now, he would have to pay in the end.

Fuji liked Inui, but felt a little bad for him. He was all in all a good guy, but if Inui ever got in touch with his emotions, without coating them in data, he would be an amazing guy. If he just stopped being afraid he would have many friends, admirers, and lovers. His tennis and his life would also improve, well, as Inui would say one hundred per cent.

Right after he warned Fuji away from his Tezuka, Inui set about studying Fuji as a new curiosity, or perhaps to size up his new competition. Inui was frustrated again and again as the tensai simply would not allow Inui to collect any data from him. Not from his tennis playing and not from his personal, family life. Fuji had long been hiding things from the world. Hiding things and confusing Inui at first amused him. But then, Inui next attempted to befriend Fuji, surreptitiously studying Fuji up close. He again was frustrated when he just could not figure Fuji out or predict him. Fuji told Inui that studying Fuji would be as useful as trying to completely define and predict the chaos theory from every angle. Simply put, small variations in initial conditions resulted in huge dynamic transformations in concluding events. In fact, out of kindness, Fuji several times tried telling Inui he simply would always be missing critical data, meaning Fuji's family situation, without ever telling Inui any specifics, but Inui would never listen. Inui would always be missing data on Fuji's initial conditions so his conclusions were going to be always wrong.

Fuji then realized how wrong Inui also was about Tezuka. Inui did not know about his past either. Only Fuji did. Inui always concluded wrong and it was Inui who most held himself back. The tensai wondered if he held himself back as well.

Fuji considered that about himself while he was at it. He had been wrong about Tezuka when Fuji first saw him, back when he first came to Seigaku. He had been wrong to toy with Tezuka's emotions and mistake feeling wanted for being loved. However, Fuji didn't think he was wrong about him and their feelings for each other now. He hoped he wasn't.

Two days before Yuuta left for Saint Rudolph's, he barely said a word to Fuji. He looked at him either smirking or in disgust. As if the sight of Fuji made him ill. Fuji tried to talk to him. He punched Fuji, laughed at him, tried to hurt him, to make him cry. Fuji offered again that he would go with Yuuta, be his roommate or even not be his roommate, whatever Yuuta wanted. Fuji even said he would never play tennis again, ever, if only Yuuta would not leave him behind. In a rage, Yuuta threw Fuji down to his bed and started punching him. Fuji never blocked any of the blows. They came too quick and he felt too numb from the words and accusations Yuuta threw at him. That Fuji made, forced, Yuuta go to their father. That it was all Fuji's fault. That Fuji never loved Yuuta. That he used him. That Fuji hurt him.

Fuji cried and swore it wasn't true. He begged Yuuta to forgive him. He swore he loved him. More than anything in the world. He begged Yuuta to talk to him, to listen to him, to not leave him. Yuuta held Fuji's hands down, threatened to break his arms if he moved or said anything else, and kissed him. He savagely ripped their clothes off and demanded that Fuji touch him, pleasure him, and take him. That if Fuji really did love him, then he prove it to him, that he show him, now. He said if Fuji did, then Yuuta would stay. Or they could both leave, together.

Yuuta left Fuji's room a short time later. He walked away from a sobbing, disheveled, broken Fuji. Yuuta never looked back at him, never made sure he was all right, and did not seem to even care. Fuji cried himself to sleep and could not play tennis the rest of that week until his sprained wrists healed. A result of a fall while helping his brother move he had said.

Fuji stayed through the next day's afternoon practice. He could still do the warming up, the running, and some other things, even if he could not play. He even hung around after, feeling afraid to go home, and overwhelmed with grief. Fuji out of long standing practice, was sure he seemed just happy and not in a hurry to go anywhere.

Tezuka out of nowhere asked Fuji if he would go some place with him after practice. He asked for Fuji's help and asked Fuji to wait for him. So Fuji waited for him to shower this time and even though physically incapable of joining Tezuka, he put that image, that idea of him joining Tezuka when everyone else was long gone, into his fantasy file. Tezuka seemed amused and curious that Fuji did not watch him or stand next to him. He came out of the shower wrapped only in a towel around his waist. Fuji simply was not up to this. He was too worn out emotionally and physically. Fuji did not need any more stimulation at the moment. He looked away.

Tezuka put his things down and gently took Fuji in his arms for the first time ever. He folded his arms softly around Fuji and held him lightly, but close. His hair was wet and his skin was surprisingly cool, cold from him showering in icy cold water, what Fuji back then mistakenly believed was his preference. Fuji had not expected to be held and froze. As if the touch of Tezuka's cold skin had turned the tensai to ice.

Fuji knew Tezuka was at least marginally interested because Fuji had been showering in front of him for several weeks. First in the mornings and then next to him, watching his reactions close up after almost every practice. But Tezuka had never before moved to touch him or invited him anywhere. Fuji felt Tezuka's heart beating right under his bruised cheek and had to suppress a shudder of want and at the same time a cringe of shame. Tezuka knew somehow that Fuji had not fallen, that it was something else, something bad enough that Fuji needed to be held. Fuji moved to put his arms around Tezuka too, needing to hold on to something and someone, forgetting in that instant about his wrists. The flash of them hurting broke the ice and Fuji cried.

Tezuka looked at Fuji in alarm and then held him closer. Fuji cried hard but silently, gasping for air, the racking, silent, sobs suddenly making Fuji incapable of standing on his own. Tezuka held Fuji up for a while and then moved them back over to where they both could sit. He held Fuji until the crying stopped, and the room was silent, except for an occasional drop of water from the shower, the humming of the lights, their breathing, and Tezuka's heartbeat still against Fuji's ear. Earlier Tezuka had made some gentle shushing noises while Fuji cried. Some lying murmurs of everything being all right now and it was okay. He had stopped some time ago.

Now it was nearly silent. Tezuka held Fuji's face and wiped the tears from his wet cheeks away with his thumbs. Then, almost absently, he pressed a small, soft, dry kiss to Fuji's forehead. In the quiet room, the soft kiss, the gentle press of his lips to Fuji's skin, sounded to Fuji as loud as a gunshot and rumbled through him like thunder. Fuji gasped as his breath caught in his throat. Their eyes met and held.

Fuji met his lips in a kiss. It was a terrible kiss Fuji realized now. He had been crying very hard and probably looked as terrible as he felt. Fuji was needy, hungry, and feeling more than a little desperate and alone. Tezuka did not pull away but he did not kiss Fuji back. Fuji wasn't sure at the time if it was because he felt he was taking advantage of Fuji, if he just did not want to, or if he was simply too shocked that Fuji kissed him. Fuji had no idea but kept kissing him, licking at his lips, pushing his tongue past them and into Tezuka's warm, soft mouth. When Tezuka's lips finally responded, slightly, Fuji moaned a soft little pathetic whimper and kissed him harder, trying to draw Tezuka more into the kiss. He was afraid, desperately terrified that if Tezuka pulled away disgusted, Fuji would not be able to bear it, and that Tezuka would never kiss him again.

Tezuka's lips moved a little more, they softened even more, and Fuji felt their tongues touch. Fuji had to hold himself from weeping again at the sweet electric sensation. They kissed for a long time. Exploring each other's mouths, but taking it no further. Fuji watched Tezuka kiss him in astonishment and pleasure. Tezuka most of the time kept his eyes closed but kept checking to see if Fuji was still looking. Tezuka said nothing, he made no sound other than breathing faster in response whenever Fuji kissed him harder, more passionately, wanting more. Tezuka kept his arms around Fuji lightly as if somehow knowing that more than Fuji's wrists were bruised, and he did not want to hurt him. So his arms held him lightly, but secure. Fuji felt safe and warm in his arms for the first time in a long time. In the middle of his terrible pain and despair, a little tiny spark of burning cruel hope began to glow.

"Do you always watch?" Tezuka had finally asked when their kiss finally broke. He smiled slightly as if amused. His voice sounded gravelly and sexy with lust.

"Do you?" Fuji asked him back, arching an eyebrow to show Tezuka he was not talking about kissing. It felt absurd to be flirting and coy when Tezuka had just held him up while he uncontrollably sobbed, but somehow, it felt so right too. Before Tezuka could ask Fuji if he wanted to talk or if he was all right, Fuji kissed him again and reveled when Tezuka responded now by tightening his arms a little and kissing Fuji back.

Eventually Fuji felt Tezuka give a small shiver and Fuji remembered that he was wearing only a towel in the chill air. The tensai wondered if he had stayed that way, kissing him even though cold because he wanted to or he because he felt Fuji needed to. Fuji had wanted to run his hands all over his skin, but his wrists simply were not up to it. Tezuka dressed, not covering himself or his erection up for an instant. It was the first time Fuji saw him naked and completely hard. It was all Fuji could do to resist touching him. Then Fuji had to hold back from commenting on how he was as pleasantly large as Fuji had hoped after brushing against him in the hallways and seeing him partially hard, trying to hide or cover himself, as Fuji showered next to him.

Tezuka asked to look at Fuji's wrists and made Fuji show him anywhere else he was hurt in his fall. He said it in a way that made Fuji feel all right, like he was not judging Fuji at all for whatever had happened. Fuji, surprising himself, nodded yes.

Tezuka unbuttoned and removed Fuji's jacket and shirt for him and checked him all over. Tezuka lightly re wrapped Fuji's wrists, checked the rest of him, touched him lightly and then kissed him again. He held him a little harder now, as if reassured he could, and felt Fuji's bare skin with his hands as if he had wanted to do that for some time. Kissing him still, Tezuka slowly caressed his tennis roughened hands softly over Fuji's skin and Fuji responded with a shiver that had nothing to do with the room temperature. Tezuka kissed Fuji once more after his shiver, he lingered on Fuji's lips, and then helped to dress him again.

When they were dressed, Tezuka walked with Fuji as if they had agreed to go somewhere specific, but Fuji was far too afraid to ask any questions. Tezuka without asking, took Fuji's bag on his shoulder along with his own to spare Fuji's wrists. Tezuka took Fuji first to dinner. They went to a sushi place Tezuka said he liked. He had Fuji try several of his favorite things and tried some of what Fuji ordered, although he would not try any of Fuji's wasabi roll. Tezuka even offered to feed Fuji due to his injured wrists. Fuji laughed at his kind attention. The tensai then clumsily speared a wasabi sushi piece with one of his chopsticks, and popped the piece in his mouth, making Tezuka laugh at how the graceful genius figured out to eat.

Tezuka then lead Fuji to a few stores. He said he had a birthday present to get for an old friend of his and could use some new ideas. He asked for Fuji's help as his friend liked to collect curious and unusual things of beauty. Fuji was very jealous of this friend and set about learning more. He asked Tezuka when his friend's birthday was and he said no date, just that it was in a few months, and he liked to look early. Most years he explained, he had been traveling with his father and had been able to find some things then in his travels. Tezuka explained he would pick out several gifts and then decide on the best, most unique item only at the last moment. There seemed to be no price range in mind. They looked at cheap pretty trinkets and Fuji wondered if the friend was a woman. Then they looked at an expensive curio and antiques store at a wide range of items in price, size, and function.

Fuji was intrigued and envious of this friend who took up so much of Tezuka's attention. He tried to find out more information. How long they had been friends brought him the answer of Tezuka knew him for many years. How close they were gave him the response of close. How old gave him a hint of around our age. What does your friend like was responded to as the usual, the same as us. What kind of things had Tezuka given him before brought him the response of things like we've looked at tonight.

Tezuka then walked Fuji home. Fuji felt light and happy for the first time in as long as he could remember. He was intrigued over this old friend of Tezuka's and found himself going back and forth between feeling jealous and not wanting to help Tezuka in his quest one moment. Then the next minute Fuji felt enthralled and challenged and tried to come up with something so unique and so special, so that Tezuka would be extremely impressed with him. Tezuka talked about things, drew Fuji into the conversation, asked him questions, and he even made the tensai laugh several times. Even as Fuji remembered Yuuta was leaving tomorrow, Fuji had a sudden, unfamiliar sense that everything might just be all right after all.

When they reached Fuji's door, Fuji just went to quickly hug him. He didn't want things to be awkward, not after the lovely evening. Fuji swiftly hugged him and went to pull away, only to find Tezuka's arms around him, not letting him go. Tezuka thanked him for his company at dinner and for helping him look for his friend's gift. He asked Fuji to let him know if Fuji could think of anything unique. Then he drew him into a sweet kiss at Fuji's door that had Fuji sighing in contentment until the door behind Fuji opened suddenly, surprising them both. If Tezuka did not have his arms so solidly around Fuji, the tensai would have fallen. He held Fuji up again, close, warm, and safe.

Yuuta glared at them. He must have been waiting for Fuji and had watched them arrive. "You coming in?" Yuuta rudely asked.

"Mn. In a moment, Yuuta." Yuuta then slammed the door on them.

"Would you like me to come in?" Tezuka then offered. He said it calm but his facial expression looked serious, as if worried. Fuji was as shocked by Yuuta as he was by Tezuka. The evening, the kissing, the holding, everything was stunning.

Fuji thought for one quick moment. "Ne. Tezuka...thank you...but...it would probably be best if you didn't. Yuuta is just...upset. He leaves tomorrow." Fuji then realized he was still in Tezuka's arms and Tezuka was in his and that he did not want to move. He wanted Tezuka to come in, to keep him safe and warm. To keep kissing and holding him. He instead said, "Thank you again for d...oh...." Tezuka kissed him again, hard this time, before the word was out of his mouth and Fuji responded this time with a small, soft, moan that surprised even Fuji.

"Good night." Tezuka smiled wryly and let Fuji go. Fuji felt his heart pounding as well as a wrenching ache from him letting go. Tezuka went to twist the door open for Fuji and found it was now locked. Yuuta. Fuji was glad it was dark because he was blushing, embarrassed, and off balance. "Where are your keys?" Tezuka asked nonplussed. Fuji told him. Tezuka got his keys out for him, unlocked the door, placed Fuji's bag inside, and handed him his keys. "I'll see you in the morning then." He smiled. It was said like a long standing date and not a question. It made Fuji's heart beat faster.

"Ah. Thank you, Tezuka." They held a long look and then Tezuka, still smiling slightly, stepped back and away from the light on the doorstep. Fuji went inside and closed the door when what he wanted to do was to go after him. Fuji sighed and went upstairs instead, carrying his bag. He took a long, hot bath, smiled often and thought of things, and then went to bed, locking his door.

The next day Yuuta surprised Fuji. It was early morning, very early. Yuuta walked into Fuji's room while Fuji was still in bed sleeping, he scared and woke him. He must have had a key Fuji did not even know about. He hugged Fuji hard and held him. He asked Fuji if he would be all right. Yuuta was crying, he begged Fuji to forgive him for leaving, and he said he was sorry. He made a suddenly crying Fuji promise to call him if he needed help or just to talk, as if Yuuta was the loving big brother and not Fuji. Yuuta in that one moment seemed to care and worry about Fuji, his brother, being left behind. Fuji ached for him to stay, to forgive him, to not leave him, to care for him, to love Fuji back, to be Fuji's little brother.

And then the moment was broken. Yuuta reached his hand down under the sheets, grabbing Fuji, his mouth was hotly kissing him, and he was snarling through his tears that he would be a better lover than Tezuka ever was. Fuji did not kiss him back. He did not fight him but he gently removed his hands from him. Yuuta accused Fuji of loving Tezuka more than him, ever since they came to Seigaku, and that was why Fuji abandoned him and forced him to go to their father. Yuuta sobbed while Fuji kissed his forehead, but only his forehead. Fuji held Yuuta while he now cried, until Yuuta fell asleep in his arms, in his bed. Fuji realized looking at how exhausted and upset Yuuta was, he must have been up all night overwrought and jealous over Tezuka. Fuji let him sleep and covered him so he stayed warm. He kissed his head once more and Yuuta sighed in his sleep. Fuji dressed for school and locked Yuuta safely inside his room.

Fuji arrived at school very early and still very upset. He went to shower because he had not and because he had a sudden need to feel clean. His wrists were feeling better, even after prying Yuuta's hands off him, but not good enough to really play so he could not get the clarity that came from thinking while playing either. He missed playing, but all Fuji really wanted to do was to kiss Tezuka some more. To be safe in his arms. Or maybe touch him, or be touched. Maybe today, Tezuka would join him. Fuji's heart was oddly heavy and light all at once. He arrived right when Tezuka was unlocking the door. Tezuka was earlier than normal. Fuji is at once pleased and then in the next moment is surprised. Tezuka did this a few times when the showering started but had stopped.

Maybe Tezuka does not want to kiss Fuji again? Maybe last night was a beautiful dream and today, now that its light outside, maybe things are different? Maybe that was all? Fuji worries. He strips and goes to shower as if nothing happened. He knows the bruises on him are darkening as they heal over time and scream out on his soft pale skin where the sun has not tanned him. Tezuka does not even say hello or good morning or ask how he is. Fuji showers and Tezuka sits to watch him, calmly. Seemingly unaffected again.

Fuji feels confused, hurt, and angry at him. Angry for making him hope. Despite the pain in his wrists, Fuji touches himself while Tezuka watches him. He wants Tezuka to respond, to go to him, to kiss him, to touch him. To say something, anything, to want him to not hurt his wrists. He tries to think of someone, anyone else, but its Tezuka, naked except for a towel, kissing him, touching him, asking if he always watches, that brings him close. Then its the remembered sight of him completely naked and smiling, touching Fuji's skin while kissing him, that Fuji comes to. Fuji is angry at himself for coming so hard and crying out his name when he is sitting right there, apparently not even caring. Fuji smiles at him although he wants to scream at him and cry instead. He finishes his shower. He doesn't cry until much later, when he is alone.

Eiji was there early blessedly, and Fuji warmed up with him. He stuck close to Eiji all day who cheered him up and made him laugh. Tezuka does not speak to Fuji for the rest of the day.

When Fuji got back from school and practice that evening, Yuuta was gone, his family must have all gone with him, and the house was completely empty. There was not even a note from him, although he had made Fuji's bed and changed his sheets. Fuji was not sure what that meant, if anything at all. Fuji felt very tired and he felt terribly alone. He lay on his bed, dressed, and cried himself to sleep again.

Some time later, a few weeks later, Fuji finished his afternoon practice a bit early and noticed Tezuka's school shirt and jacket hanging up over his locker. No one else was in the room. On impulse, Fuji smelled his shirt, closing his eyes as he inhaled his scent. Feeling foolish, but wanting to say this aloud, needing to tell this to Tezuka, Fuji held them in his arms, still on the hanger, as if Tezuka was wearing them and Fuji was holding him. He pressed his cheek to the collar and he said softly with tears in his eyes, "Thank you for being there for me, for holding me when I cried, for kissing me, for dinner, for all of it. It meant the world to me." Fuji swallowed hard, "I miss you...."

And since it was only his clothes and no one was there he added softer still, "I love you...I wish you loved me...." Fuji held his clothes close a moment, he took a deep shuddering breath, and then let go. He noticed a tear had fallen onto Tezuka's collar but it would be long dry by the time Tezuka redressed. Then Fuji wiped his eyes, went to shower, and leave early. He had a date with a girl later, which strangely only made him miss Tezuka more.

Fuji was just mixing one of his last songs as he thought about it all, the past, the present, about Tezuka, even from back then, about how wrong Fuji must have been, and he was filled with a sudden, scary, dizzying rush of love for him. The intoxicated surge only lasted one swift corybantic moment but the feelings lingered like the burn of habanero peppers on his skin and in his mouth. Fuji willed his racing heart to be stilled. He had done what they came here for. He had showed Tezuka exactly what it was like to be Fuji, and to see the world from his own eyes. Yes, it had been with some surprising help from Inui happening to be here, but still, Fuji had accomplished his goal. The tensai tried to figure out why now that it was nearly over, when they were going on about their evening, why now his pulse rate was up again. Why the rush of emotion? Why did it now feel so scary?

It made no sense. Fuji wrapped things up. Smiled at Tezuka and then said a warm hello to his friend who was spinning after him. Who also knew Tezuka from whenever he came here. She said a warm greeting to him as Fuji collected his things and they started to leave. Fuji had a sudden thought that maybe this was why the tensai again felt nervous. Fear of the unknown, which was a common fear, everyone had it, and he tried to shrug it off even as it tried to nag at him.

Fuji hoped and was rewarded as Tezuka, seeing they were leaving, slipped his warm, strong hand again on Fuji's lower back as they said goodbye and left. Claiming him again. Making Fuji feel an unfamiliar but comforting sense of security.

Perhaps it was only these new sensations of comfort and security, that has Fuji feeling so off balance suddenly.

Fuji isn't certain but knows he is going to swallow his fears and enjoy this right now, even if it is hedonistic of him.

At least until the bottom falls out.


On to Chapter 63!!