Anyone you recognize belongs to someone else and I make no money from their work. All original characters belong to me and may be used with permission.
Sometimes life can throw you a curve ball. You can either swing and pray you hit it or let it go by and take the strike.
This fic may be rife with mistakes, but I’ll correct them as I go along (and as you point them out to me), OOC-ness (but please remember that this fic takes place about 11 years into the future), flashbacks and other clichéd plot devices (but I’ll try to write them well), and I’m afraid I’ll be dipping into that pot of gooey cheese every now and then. Oh, and if I’m seen to be slacking in updates, I give you permission to jab me with a sharp stick repeatedly:)
Sorry it took a little longer with this updateJ I had to tie up a few loose ends that I forgot about and work out a few bugs with this chapter. I, also, went back through and edited the previous chapters because of timeline issues. The first time I don't write something with an outline and I screw up ::sigh::
As soon as Fuji hung up with Eiji, the frowned returned. He held onto the phone, his fingers white as they tightened around it. He briefly wondered if he should call Tezuka, but he thought better of it and laid the phone back in its cradle.
He would wait until the get together to talk to him, at least there he would have the others to act as a buffer between them if things should become awkward; besides what could he say that hadn’t already been said?
Six Years Earlier
“I’ve decided that after I graduate, I’m going to go professional.” Tezuka announced one evening as they did homework in Fuji’s bedroom.
Fuji turned away from the work spread out across his desk and glanced at Tezuka, who sat on the floor with his arms around his legs and his chin resting on his knees. His homework was abandoned on the floor in front of him in an uncharacteristically untidy heap.
“That was out of the blue.” Fuji replied as he studied Tezuka’s handsome, serious face. He rose from the chair and sat on the bed behind him, his knees on either side of Tezuka’s body. Fuji’s fingers carded through the dark and unruly hair that fell in tousled locks across his forehead and shoulders, “You need a haircut.”
“Not really, I’ve been thinking about it for awhile and I know, I just haven’t found the time for one.” Tezuka answered both questions with a shrug, completely used to having these twisting conversations with Fuji.
“What made you finally decide on this?”
Tezuka leaned his head back, closed his eyes and released a quiet moan at the pleasurable sensation of strong fingers sifting through his hair and lightly scratching at his scalp, “I’ve talked to that American coach, Moore-san. The one who approached me last year, remember? He said that he’s still interested in coaching me.”
“Oh, that’s good, but I thought you said his one catch is that he would not be willing to relocate to Japan. What changed his mind?” Fuji asked as he watched Tezuka’s lips move as he spoke. Fuji gave into temptation and leaned over to kiss him.
“Abou…mmph…” Tezuka began, but was cut off by the soft press of lips to his. He reached up to hold onto the back of Fuji’s head. There was something sensual about kissing him upside down, kind of like that scene in Spiderman and he tried to deepen the kiss.
“What? Were you trying to say something?” Fuji teased, blue eyes gleaming.
Tezuka glared and tugged sharply on a lock of Fuji’s hair making him laugh. Tezuka closed his eyes again wanting to block out the sight of that happy face because Fuji was definitely not going to like what he had to say next, “About that…I will be going to America after graduation.”
Fuji pressed his face closer to Tezuka’s, forcing him to open his eyes, and hissed, “What about college? Haven’t you already received an acceptance letter from the University of Tokyo? What about your family? What do they have to say about this?”
“Fuji, sit up a little! You make my head hurt when you’re too close, and you being upside down isn’t helping either.”
Fuji straightened and crossed his arms across his chest, “Well?”
Tezuka could feel the foot against his hip tapping in annoyance. He sighed again, then rose from his position on the floor to sit on the bed besides Fuji, “I can always go to college but I’m not always going to have this opportunity. My parents aren’t happy with the fact that I’m leaving Japan and ojiisan, if he were still alive, would have preferred me going straight to school, but they know that ultimately it’s my decision to make and they’ll respect it.”
“I guess you made the final decision. Nothing’s going to convince you to change your mind? No one…” Fuji said quietly.
Suddenly Tezuka realized what was going on in Fuji’s head. Why he seemed so upset and against something Tezuka was sure that he would be supportive and happy about.
“Syusuke,” he said softly, knowing that the use of his first would catch his attention, “I’m not leaving you.”
“Going to America isn’t leaving me?” Fuji asked sarcasm his tone, “It’s not like it’s a quick jaunt to Okinawa. It’s a fucking ocean away.”
“I mean that this isn’t over.” Tezuka cupped Fuji’s face between his hands and kissed unyielding lips until he relented and returned the kiss, opening his mouth under Tezuka’s gentle attack.
They broke from the kiss, breathless, and Fuji rested his forehead against Tezuka’s, “You’ll call me once a week and email me everyday?”
“I promise and tennis isn’t 365 days a year, so I’ll come back and see you and you can visit me as well.”
“Okay.” Fuji nodded, his smile once more returning then, with a wicked gleam in his eyes, he slid his hand beneath Tezuka’s untucked shirt and rubbed his stomach, “Well, since we have six months until graduation, we should make the most of our time together…don’t you think?”
Fuji had to smile at the memory, those days with Tezuka were some of the happiest, and most frustrating, ones he could remember. It always surprised him that he had Tezuka for a lover in high school. That the serious, tennis-stupid boy had finally opened his eyes and noticed him, not his team mate Fuji, but Syusuke standing besides him. Soon what started out as experimental fumbling between two curious, and horny, young men deepened into something more, and Fuji found a side to Tezuka he never knew existed; a dry sense of humor, and a well of words wanting to be expressed to a worthy recipient.
Fuji laughed as he recalled how he, more or less, became the listener in the relationship and he wondered where Tezuka had hidden the talkative doppelganger before him. They actually found themselves talking for hours about movies, music, books and tennis, things they had surprisingly plenty in common with each other.
After Tezuka left to pursue his dreams in America, things started to change between them. The first two years were great, they called and emailed often, saying things that even now Fuji blushed to remember. Tezuka talked often about his translator and English tutor, Amy Rivers, and they laughed about his inability to pronounce her last name correctly. Fuji, also, recalled the loneliness he heard in Tezuka’s voice as the young man related to him his attempts, sometimes comical, to adjust to the brash and casual culture of America.
“Fuji, I don’t know that I’ll ever get use to the Western habit of calling a person by his given name as soon as you meet them. It seems so…intimate a thing to do.”
Gradually the tone of the calls changed, Tezuka sounded happier, more sure of himself as his English improved and he became acclimated to his new home.
“Fuji, do you mind if we spoke in English? Amy says I should practice where I can; besides, it would be good for you to practice too.”
Without knowing exactly when it had happened, Fuji noticed that more and more of Tezuka’s phone conversations and emails mentioned Amy and he began to worry, bracing himself for he hoped against hope was not coming.