title: Dreams of Butterflies
fandom: Prince of Tennis
characters/pairings: Tezuka/Fuji, Yumiko/Tezuka
rating: Teen
warnings: sex
summary: Yumiko knows her fate ahead of time.
notes: for my darlingest Bryan, who i love with all my heart. *cuddles* the tone is odd, because i was in an odd mood.

It was raining, a steady sound that dripping down from the overpass. The other girls wore their skirts hiked up, and socks to their knees. Yumiko wore the thick knee socks, but she modified her skirt to hang low on her hips, and she left the bottom three buttons of her shirt undone. People were staring at them. She didn't mind.

She never minded.

The old lady lived in a box here. Her bony hands covered Yumiko's, over the cards. Her thin, coarse hair was pulled back in a greasy, messy bun. Her friends were huddled together, calling for her to just go already, Yumiko!

She leaned closer to the old lady, and watched the cards as they were dealt out.

Her life spread out on the cracked wooden surface of a discarded tray table top in the form of faded, torn cards with strange faces.

The old woman spoke in a monotonous whisper, wheezing. She pointed here or there, as if the path would be clear. The words Yumiko remembered best, the one phrase she clung to - "You will know the man who will father your children as soon as you see him, but it won't be as simple as that."

Her friends wanted to run away from this place. Yumiko ignored them. This was more interesting than school.

She kneeled down on the gravel, and smiled brightly at the old lady. "Grandmother, teach me to read the cards."

She didn't mind letting him into her room. She knew there was no chance she'd get into trouble. She didn't mind the way he kissed, even though he had bad breath.

He wasn't the one.

His hand drifted up further on her leg, and she pushed it away, laughing. She put space between them, and put his hands around the cards. She laid them out in the right pattern, and looked for the signs.

He sat on his hands, and bit his lip, and she laughed.

"Destiny is something you can't control," she told him, shrugging.

She knew he wasn't the one the moment she had seen him.

It was because he wouldn't be playing that she came. Her little brother was growing up. He might not want her to watch him, at least, not habitually. It was sad. She wanted to keep him forever.

He wanted her to see someone, though, even if he would laugh if she mentioned the cards and what they had said. This was someone special to her Syuusuke, so she would meet him, and give him a chance. But only one.

She wandered around. Tennis was a good sport. She was glad her brothers liked it. There was sunshine and pretty trees. She didn't let her brothers know how well she understood the game. It was better that they didn't.

She had come from work, so she was early, but she recognized the colors, even though Syuusuke didn't have a pretty blue and white jacket yet. She had seen his pictures.

He was on his way to being tall, and the fact that he was short now was sort of cute. It was his demeanor, the way he threw his shoulders back. His confidence. Even his sexy glasses.

It didn't matter if he was so much younger than she was. She knew.

From the moment she saw him.

She sauntered over, swinging her hips a little. Swinging her hips a lot. Her purse swung back and forth in her hand. She smiled.

She said something to him. "You must be that Captain Yamato I've heard so much about. Thank you for taking care of my little brother."

He looked at her, embarrassed. Nervous. "You've made a mistake." His voice was beautiful. She wanted him to say more, so she kept talking, but he just backed up a half a step.

Syuusuke ran over to her. "Sis!" He introduced Tezuka. Syuusuke's Tezuka. The rest of the team walked by. Some of the freshman hung back to watch Fuji and his older sister. Tezuka's eyes shifted from her to her brother, suspicious. Syuusuke told her that Tezuka was the only freshman to make the regulars in years.

She smiled, because she had no choice. She saw the tall boy with the dark glasses and his jacket over his shoulders like a cape. She wanted him to be the one, but it couldn't be helped.

She recognized Tezuka the moment she had seen him.

She called out that she was home, even though she knew the house was empty. There were spirits in the air, maybe. She wanted there to be.

She changed out of her work clothes, and slipped into her brother's room. Under his bed, in the far corner, there was an archival box, just like always. Syuusuke's secrets, kept safe here, but not from her.

There were some nice pictures of Saeki in the front, and even a few of her and Yuuta. They weren't bad, though the ones of Saeki were almost so. Behind those, there were the ones of Tezuka.

There were more than there were the last time. There always were. She sifted through them carefully, keeping them exactly in order.

There was a picture looking down on Tezuka, his uniform jacket and shirt open, his pants unbuttoned. His glasses were askew. There was the suggestion of color across his cheekbones, and his eyes were clear and uncertain. His lips were parted. His arms were scattered to his side, useless.

She took the picture out. There was nothing incriminating behind it. She touched the glossy surface of the photo, her fingernail tracing Tezuka's lips.

He was beautiful, so beautiful.

She smiled.

She followed him around, dumbfounded. She couldn't believe what he was doing, even as she watched him do it.

"You're running away," she accused.

He laughed. "Don't read so much into it. We're too young, anyway."

"Too young!" She was outraged. "You love him!"

He shrugged, but his smile faded before her eyes.

"This is a mistake. You'll lose him."

He laughed again. "Destiny is something you can't control," he mocked. "Que sera sera, right?"

She pouted.

He kissed her cheek, and put his hand on her hip. "Trust me."

She glared at him. "You'll end up hurt," she promised.

Syuusuke cocked his head to the side. "You'll take care of me, won't you?"

She put her hand on his arm. "He'll be back," she promised bravely.

He stared into their room. It used to be their room. He held Syuusuke's note limply.

She squeezed his arm. "Tezuka! Have faith! He'll be back." She smiled brightly. "Destiny is something you can't control."

He lowered his head. "I don't believe in destiny, Fuji-san."

She stepped closer to him, and smiled brighter. "Even if you don't believe it, it's true. And you don't have to call me Fuji-san. I keep telling you that."

"Yes," he replied shortly. He was so beautiful, even broken like this. Maybe more so.

Syuusuke had been shaken the day he was physically broken. She had held her brother while he laughed, and told her how beautiful Tezuka looked, all curled up on the ground.

Too bad he couldn't see Tezuka now.

He pushed her bra strap down her arm. She chuckled, breathless, and tossed her hair back. She didn't think she had ever been this drunk before. She was damned sure he hadn't.

"You don't have to do that," she told him, pushing her hands through his hair.

His looked her in the eye. "It how you do it."

He was so straightforward. It was charming.

She let him undress her, let him put his hands on her body, but he was rough and clumsy.

He was used to being with a boy.

She wrapped her hand around his cock, and pumped him. He threw his head back, his eyes fluttering closed, and she kissed his neck. He was so beautiful. So beautiful. She just wanted to make him feel good, give him some peace. Syuusuke had left him behind, gone traipsing off with some photographer to do some shoot. She wanted to take care of Tezuka.

She straddled his waist, and positioned herself. He watched her, almost amazed, almost scared, and she laughed, because he was no virgin, and she just wanted to make him feel good. His fingers dug into her flesh, and he shut his eyes tightly. She kissed his face, and she moved over him, and he moved inside of her.

He was so beautiful.

She wasn't in love with him. That's what made it ok. She had explained it to him. After so much sake, it had made sense. She didn't love him, and she wanted him to feel good. She hadn't lied to him when she had said that they didn't need to use a condom, because she knew that he had only been with her brother, and she was clean. She made him believe that she'd just had her period, but she didn't say so specifically. And even that, it wasn't malicious, she just didn't want to wait. Didn't want logic to break through the filmy web of reason she had woven to get him to let her take off his shirt in the process of tending to tedious details. Didn't want him to take the time to think before acting, because if he did, he would never be here, with his arms around her, her breasts against his face as she bounced up and down.

She didn't want to lie to him. She just didn't want to wait.

He was Syuusuke's. She knew that. She thought that meant that she couldn't be in love.

But there was a part of him, now, that was hers. She knew what he sounded like when he was coming. Knew what he felt like as he slipped out of her. Knew what his eyes looked like when they blearily opened for the first time after the orgasm.

He kissed her, but it wasn't love, it was gratitude.

She took what she could get.

She lifted herself up from the floor in front of the toilet. Already, it was passing, the nausea, the aching of it. She hated this, but even still, she was happy, too. She hadn't been sure before, even if it was destiny, but she couldn't keep denying it.

This was four mornings in a row.

She should have a test. She should see a doctor.

She emailed her brother.

"I'm pregnant. Told you so."

She hadn't expected him to show up. At least, not so soon. She tried to figure it out as she roamed from room to room, aimless. How long after reading her email did he fly home, anyway? He was angry. She had never seen him so angry, and it was amusing to her, because normally, he didn't care so much about himself.

Was he worried that she had hurt Tezuka?

She ignored most of his questions. She interjected truth, in carefully brief measures, at appropriate junctures. She hadn't planned on this. Neither of them had. No, she wasn't going to give the baby up. Their dad would have to live with it, that was all.

"You left," she reminded, sternly.

He pouted. He was so cute, but she was tired. She didn't like him being angry with her.

She had known from the very first time she had seen him. Her hand moved over her belly. Why couldn't Syuusuke understand?

"Where is he?" he finally asked.

She smiled. "I don't know. Spain, I think? Isn't there a match or a tournament or whatever they are called?"

He blinked. "He left you?"

"He doesn't know," she glared. "And he won't."

"But Yumiko!" Syuusuke never called her that, at least, rarely did.

"No!" She put her hands on her hips, and showed him a determined face. "He's just starting his career! He'll feel... obligated. That's the sort of man he is. So. He just won't ever know. I mean it, Syuusuke. I can raise this baby by myself. I won't take his dreams away from him.

"I won't take him away from you."

Syuusuke slumped against the wall, holding his elbows in his hands. His chin was lowered.

She had never seen her brother cry before.

"It's silly," he laughed. "It's not like I can have a baby. But."

She put her hand on his cheek. This was supposed to be his. She knew.

She didn't say anything about destiny. He wouldn't appreciate it.

Her little boy turned to look at her, to make sure she was watching him. She waved, and smiled. He toddled further away from her.

Her heart ached a bit, but she stayed on the park bench.

The doctor came again that day. He came irregularly, about three or four times a week. Possibly more often of late. This park was right across from their small apartment. She brought Toshie here every day at the same time, but these days, he was going off to play by himself more, so she got to talk to the doctor.

He was older, with grey touching his temples. He was very well mannered. She smiled for him, and he bowed to her.

"He's getting quite strong," he commented.

This pleased her, because she liked it when she could see his father in him. "Thank you."

"I meant to ask you..." He cleared his throat. "Why did you name him Toshie?"

She looked away, because she knew that wasn't what he had meant to ask. "A fortune teller told me it was a good name."

"Ah?" He looked confused. "Why?"

She shrugged, and smiled brightly. "Does it matter?"

She loved summers in Chiba. Especially when there was a nice breeze coming in off the bay. She had opened all the windows in the house. Her husband's family complained about her, and her ways sometimes. His sister said she was trying to drive him to an early grave, the way she never turned on the air. But he liked for her to be happy, and warm, salty summer breezes made her happy.

Her husband had no complaints, and spent most of his time at the hospital anyway.

She made ice cream, using her husband's and her son's favorite flavors. Today, she got to make it with her brother's favorite flavor, too. She didn't know what her brother in law's favorite was, but she wasn't inclined to cater to him, regardless.

She walked out to their back porch, where Syuusuke was lounging in the shade of the house. "I made ice cream. Want some?"

Syuusuke smiled at her, and pointed off to the beach. "Want me to get them?"

She followed the line of his finger, and frowned gently. "No, I'll get them."

Syuusuke spoke as she got to the bottom of the wooden steps. "Destiny, right, Sis?"

She didn't look back at him.

Toshie was teaching Tezuka how to make a sandcastle. It was his favorite way to spend an afternoon. Tezuka was watching and nodding, but she didn't think he was paying attention. "See," Toshie said, "you have to get the sand wet, but not too wet. It's tricky." He furrowed his brow, and examined the sand dissatisfiedly.

"I see," Tezuka said, but he was mostly looking at the way the sun had streaked Toshie's hair several shades of brown.

Toshie looked up at Tezuka. "Hey, Uncle, do you wear your glasses when you play tennis?"

"I have to," Tezuka nodded. "Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to see the ball."

Toshie nodded seriously. "I just got my glasses. I like them. Mama said they made me look smarter, but I like that I can see now. How old were you were you got your glasses?"

"Oh," Tezuka shrugged, sifting his fingers through the sand. "About your age."

Her heart shattered into a million pieces. Yumiko forced herself to smile. "Toshie! Honey, I made ice cream. Go inside and clean up, ok, and we'll have some."

"Yes, Mama!" He jumped to his feet, and nodded at Tezuka before running off.

She turned her back to Tezuka and started for home. "Come along, Tezuka-kun. Syuusuke is waiting for you."

She walked quickly, not anxious to hear his reply.

She sat at the kitchen table, watching the flickering candlelight dancing over the cards. She could never read her own future with any degree of accuracy, but she liked to show the cards how much she loved them anyway. She put them in the order the old lady had them, so long ago.

She didn't expect Tezuka to enter, and she didn't not expect it. It just happened. She would have preferred it if he had put on a shirt to come see her, but the way he went straight for the refrigerator to grab a bottle of water, she assumed that he was hot.

He didn't want to disturb her, she knew before he said it, and she asked him to sit and let her read his cards. He didn't believe in that stuff, he didn't need to say, but he was looking for an excuse to talk to her, privately, so he complied.

"Think of a question," she directed, holding his hands over the cards.

"Is Toshie my son?" he asked blankly.

"Don't be silly," she laughed. "He's my son."

Tezuka looked away.

She sighed.

"I... would like to know... just to know." He said quietly.

She shook her head, and started to deal the cards. "What has Syuusuke told you?"

"He tries to never say anything," he said, "which tells me a lot."

"He was too young to ask me about his father before I was married," she shrugged. "And now he thinks of Seki as his father. Seki is a good man, he's good to us. It's better this way."

Tezuka looked away. "Is it... do you not want me to be his father because I'm gay?"

She laughed, even though he was serious, because she couldn't think of anything else to do. "Tezuka-kun! Don't be... My own brother is... Well, you know that, of course. Why would you think...?"

He lowered his chin. "I assumed there must be a reason."

"But I already gave you the reason," she smiled. "If I were your wife... it would be different. We'd have more children, probably. Things would be different. But I can't be your wife. So this is better."

He watched her with alarm, and even though she wasn't looking at him, she could see him thinking things he had never thought before.

It was his fault for being so beautiful.

"I was afraid you'd take him away from me," she laughed, because the thought chilled her to her spine. "I'm still afraid of that. He's so like you sometimes. I suppose I couldn't hide it for long. But he's mine."

Tezuka looked away. "I see."

She watched him. "What does Syuusuke think?"

"He says nothing to me," Tezuka said, each word deliberate.

She nodded. "Why did you take him back?" Because even good sisters got jealous, sometimes.

Tezuka shrugged. "Because he came to me."

"He cheated on you."

"And I cheated on him."

"I don't count!" she protested.

He propped his chin on his hand and sighed. "I'd say you do. After all, look what came of it."

"That's not fair," she smiled.

"It's not a question of fair," he reasoned. "I love him. I always will."

She looked down. "So you don't need the cards then, mm?"

He looked at her, measuring her systematically with his eyes. "Destiny... is not something that can be controlled. Isn't that it?"

She gathered the cards together. "No, it's not."

He stood up, and recycled the water bottle. He had his back to her when he spoke. "He's an excellent boy. He's... he's lucky to have you. Thank you."

She watched him go, go back to her brother's bed. She shuffled the cards. When Seki got home, she would give him a reading.

She didn't want to go to bed alone.