sarcasticcinders: (hands)
Title: A Beautiful Mistake
Fandom: Prince of Tennis
Pairing: Tezuka, Fuji/OC
Rating: R (language)
Length: 10/?
Disclaimer: 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.
Warning: Angst. Not quite Tezuka/Fuji, yet.
A/N: Yep, it's true, this is the real Chapter 9! Thanks for being patient and please enjoy. A giant thanks go to [livejournal.com profile] reddwarfer for volunteering to beta. Especially when she's busy, and I'm pretty craptastic with the punctuation and grammar. Please let me know whether you enjoyed this or not, since it's been awhile since I've written for PoT.

Chapter 9

Tezuka sometimes felt like he had existed in a bubble, safe from and never touched by the world outside. It was a cozy and comforting feeling until the thin shell disintegrated, leaving him completely overwhelmed by it all. Now that he was officially retired from the Pro-Circuit, and entrusted with the sole care of his daughter who was fully dependant on him, Tezuka felt cut adrift. Especially so because the people he relied on to make sure everything in his life was organized and running smoothly had moved on to the next big name.

Cold reality was beginning to force Tezuka to see how truly ill-prepared he was to take on so much responsibility, and that the independence he thought he was in possession of was just an illusion. Now he was starting to see that, since he turned Pro, he’d never really taken the initiative to live on his own terms and had become all too content to allow others to push his life in the direction they thought best for him and his career. This came from all angles, trainers, coaches, managers, doctors, sponsors, and even, in a small way, his family. He’d spent so many years living by their standards, that trying to live for himself was a daunting task. His uncertainty was beyond anything he had ever experienced before and it shook his confidence to the core. He was much like a broken vase held together by string and trying to ride out an earthquake.

Tezuka listened to Hana’s breathing as she slept in her crib nearby and watched the shadows play on the ceiling in the slim beam of light that peeked through the slats of the blinds. In the family room, he could hear the drone of the TV and his parent’s low murmured conversation. He sighed and sat up in bed, pushing his hair out of his eyes, giving up on ever finding sleep while his thoughts constantly churned.

He wondered what Fuji was doing at this moment and a vision of him in the arms of that man, the one who talked like a third-rate, yakuza thug, flashed in his head. Tezuka scowled and quickly pushed the thought away, refusing to acknowledge that the dull pain in his chest had anything to do with jealousy. What was there to be jealous of anyway? Fuji was just a friend and, because of a myriad of mistakes, a distant one at that.

Tezuka, being the logical man that he was, still couldn’t simply accept facts as they were, especially when he tried to hide from the things that bothered him. Fuji now had Tezuka’s mind constantly turning over his thoughts. What was it about the blue-eyed tensai that held his attention so thoroughly? Before Fuji, and even after, he’d never felt the pull of sexual attraction towards another man and, if he wanted to be completely truthful, even his wife barely registered on his radar to the degree that Fuji had.

He had no doubts that he loved Amy. It was perhaps, looking upon it with clear eyes, a shallow love, but he went into it with an absolute willingness and he wasn’t nearly cold-blooded enough to tie himself to someone for life if he had no more than lukewarm feelings for them, no matter what he was running from or trying to deny. Nor did he feel that their sex life was unsatisfying in any way, maybe it was infrequent, but he chalked that up his busy schedule, Amy’s own career and then the birth of Hana. He knew that their marriage was not based on lust; it was more a partnership built on a foundation of companionship, trust, respect, and affection. They each gave equally to the relationship with but one goal in mind, to build a family.

Yet, his reaction to seeing Fuji after all these years brought one thing to light- Tezuka may have needed his wife but he never wanted her, not in the visceral, breath stealing way that he wanted Fuji. He now understood that there was a difference between want and need.

“I’m so sorry, Amy.” Tezuka whispered, holding his hand out and letting the gold band catch in the faint light. He now realized that he gave Amy only a small, token part of himself. He was so busy trying to live within his own firmly set boundaries and pushing her outside of them, that he never took into account what she may have wanted from him.

When did he become so self-absorbed? When did he go from being once willing to sacrifice everything to not giving more than meager handouts of himself? He wished, in some fanciful way, that there was some magic spell that he could evoke and erase away all his mistakes and stupidity. He was starting to collect regrets like they were tennis trophies and all he could do was acknowledge the pain he caused to the two people that loved him unconditionally.

Sadly, he couldn’t do anything for Amy except raise Hana to be the kind of woman her mother was. He would do his best to honor Amy’s memory by seeing to it that their daughter never had a moment’s doubts that she was loved, and to always know that she had been her mother’s pride and joy.

That, of course, left Fuji. Where did he even begin to start with Fuji? Tezuka lay back down and tucked his arms behind his head, a thoughtful frown on his face. Fuji wasn’t exactly the most tractable person- a simple apology wasn’t going to cut it. His brow wrinkled in thought; could he get Fuji to forgive him? Did he destroy things beyond repair or was there a way to win back his trust?

His love?

Tezuka opened his eyes wide at that stray thought. Was that truly what he wanted? He had to be sure, because the last thing that he desired was to hurt Fuji again with his waffling emotions. He needed to be a hundred percent positive that it was the right choice for him because being with Fuji, in that way, meant he had to give something of himself that he had held on to for far too long. Was he willing to do that?

“Does this make me gay?" Tezuka quietly asked himself with all the trepidation of a teenager questioning his own sexuality for the first time.

He thought about it for a moment, rolling the word in his head as if mentally trying it on for size, before the realization hit him that this had nothing to do with orientation and everything to do with love. It didn’t need a label to make it right, and that there really was no label that you could affix to it. Fuji was simply Fuji to Tezuka, and he being male had no bearing on his attachment to him. It didn’t make him gay or bisexual or whatever; it just basically meant that he was Fuji’s.

Now he just had to convince Fuji of the same thing.

***
Fuji curled beneath the covers of his bed trying to drown out the sound his alarm clock going off; its insistent beeping seemed to be in league with the pounding of his head. Fuji creatively cussed out the sadistic bastard who had decided to set the alarm for 6:00 am on a Saturday before realizing that he was the sadistic bastard in question and he simply forgot to turn it off the night before.

Fuji opened one eye and managed a glare that would have been impressively daunting were it not aimed at an inanimate object. With an exasperated sigh, he shut off the alarm and rolled slowly onto his back with a groan of pain. Rarely did Fuji allow himself to overindulge in alcohol, especially since he had a low tolerance for it, but last night was a going away party for an old co-worker who was promoted and relocating to the company’s Osaka branch. Fuji was now, unhappily, paying for the night excesses and, as soon as he could get rid of the drum solo playing in his head, he was going to make a small offering to the porcelain shrine and make promises to never indulge again.
 
Fuji brewed himself some weak tea and decided that whatever plans he had for the day could just wait for the world to right itself; for now, he was going to do nothing more strenuous than sip his tea and read the morning paper. The phone rang and Fuji jumped in surprise, groaning at the way his brain painfully sloshed around inside his skull at the sudden movement. He decided to let the machine pick up the call, it was likely to be Matsura and Fuji wasn’t risking his hand-woven Nepalese area rug for him.

“Hello, Fuji?” The familiar voice surprised him, “It’s Tezuka, sorry to call you so early. Old habits die hard, I guess. I was wondering if you would like to…never mind. Fuji, just call me when you get this message… if you want to, that is…please? Well, goodbye.”

Fuji stared at his ceiling in bemusement. Why was Tezuka calling, and more importantly, when had Tezuka’s phone voice developed into the stuff of wet dreams? He had a voice that could get him far in the phone sex business. Fuji softly chuckled, trying to pictures Tezuka’s expression at being told that tidbit of information. A wicked smile curled his lips, “ Oh hell, why not tell him?”

Prologue, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8







Mood:: 'caffeinated' caffeinated
location: Desk
Music:: The Cure- Love Song

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