title: every kind of rain
fandom: Prince of Tennis
characters/pairings: Tezuka/Fuji, Seigaku, Saeki
rating: G
warnings: kissing
summary: Tezuka and Fuji can't make anything easy on themselves.
notes: for round 2 in the stages of love challenge, Trouble in Paradise. in my head, the series takes place while they are in high school, not junior high school.





jealousy





They weren't in class together, and he only rarely saw Fuji at lunch. He preferred to eat alone, because then, it was a choice, not a rejection. Often, the first time he would see Fuji would be at tennis practice, which seemed fitting, like their relationship was wrapped up in tennis.

It was never the gaggle of girls who knew better than to get in Fuji's way that bothered Tezuka. Each of the regulars had a fan club, and Fuji's was probably the best behaved, most likely because he was actually friendly with them. As kind as he was to notice when one had colored her hair or had her nails done, he didn't care about any of them specifically.

During warm ups, Kawamura would inch closer to Fuji, looking for opportunities to touch him. While he was working up the courage to act, Kikumaru would jump on Fuji's back, and wrap his arms around Fuji's neck. Fuji smiled for them, and he smiled for Echizen as Echizen tried to engage him, and he smiled for Inui as Inui's pencil scratched over the surface of his notebook.

Fuji's smiles were cheap to his friends. There wasn't much difference between the smile he gave to Kawamura for retrieving his racquet and the smile he gave Tezuka when Tezuka invited him in for dinner.

He hated that.

He called for everyone to gather, and he assigned them partners for practice. Today was serving, and Inui had worked out a carefully designed scheme to be sure that everyone was paired to the maximum efficiency, but Tezuka altered the pairings somewhat. When Inui started to protest, Tezuka simply ordered him to his court.

It was Captain's prerogative, after all.

He served to Fuji, and then Fuji served to him. His heart felt a bit calmer; for this exercise, Fuji's full attention was his, and his alone.

At least, it should have been.

"Looking good, Syuusuke," a too familiar voice called out.

Fuji turned, dropping his ball. "Kojirou! What are you doing in Tokyo?"

Saeki grinned wolfishly. "Why, I'm checking out the competition. What did you think?" He laughed, and winked at Fuji. "No, seriously, we had a class trip to Sea World. Can you believe it? It was pretty fun, though. I skipped out so I could see you."

Fuji smiled... brighter. He winked at Tezuka. "Captain, you can serve on your own for a moment, right?" He beamed, and went over to the fence to talk to Saeki, hooking his fingers around the chain links. Saeki put his hand on the chain links, just above Fuji's hand.

He knew he shouldn't. He didn't care. He tossed the ball up into the air, a perfect arc, and then he slammed it, hard enough to feel it reverberating down his shoulder. Fuji merely turned to look at him, but Saeki jumped back. He adjusted his glasses.

"Sorry. Slipped."

Fuji nodded, but he wasn't smiling, and there was no way he believed that.





first fight





Silence was lethal.

It was Tezuka's nature to be quiet and reserved. So naturally, at first, it didn't seem odd at all. But there was a difference between being quiet, and being silent. If Tezuka could spare the effort to direct a first year girl to the library, when she would had to have known her way there by now, he should have been able to spare Fuji a glance, at least, as he passed on his way to lunch.

Perhaps it had started when Saeki visited the tennis club. Perhaps it had started when Fuji left his underwear in Tezuka's tennis bag, and Tezuka's mother found them. Perhaps it started when Tezuka referred to Fuji as 'a fellow tennis club member' to his cousin. Perhaps it had started when Fuji accepted Taka's invitation to a formal tea. Perhaps it had started at the tennis club's farewell feast when Tezuka took the last crab roll and gave it to Echizen.

Perhaps it hadn't started, per se, and just had always been there.

There were too many reasons, which was the problem, and tennis had ended, which meant they had little excuse to see each other unless they were trying.

Which meant that they were marking off time until Tezuka left for America, and the world of the pros.

And still, when Fuji looked at his cell phone, at Tezuka's entry in his phonebook, he couldn't swallow down the unexplained anger to make the call.

Silence was heavy, and hard to slip out from under.





break up





He opened the door, and almost immediately met Tezuka's fist, poised to knock. They just stared at each other. Anything Fuji might have been prepared to say failed to fall into the category of words, which left him uncomfortably at a loss.

It didn't help that Tezuka looked good. Funny what even a small absence could do. It wasn't as if he had forgotten that Tezuka was a damned good looking man. But he hadn't been exposed to it for nearly three weeks, not even in passing. He hadn't even opened any of his photo albums, now relegated to a dark corner under his bed, to assist in the avoidance of temptation.

He needed to say something, but for the life of him, and for the first time, he couldn't think of what.

"I'm leaving for America," Tezuka said abruptly, and that was a great opening, because now, Fuji could smile amicably.

He was back on solid ground.

"I know. I heard all about it from Eiji. Good luck. Don't think I need to tell you to work hard."

Tezuka's brow furrowed adorably. Damn him. "I mean, I'm leaving now; I'm on my way to the airport."

"Goodness," Fuji brushed his hair back to hide his shock. "What are you doing here, then? Don't you need to go? Can't be late for your flight..."

"...I have time. I thought maybe we could. Talk." Tezuka narrowed his eyes, looking directly into Fuji's intensely.

Fuji beamed. "Oh, but I was on my way out. Sorry. You should have called. Anyway, don't forget to enjoy yourself from time to time, Tezuka."

This didn't deter Tezuka. He stepped closer, and put his hand on the doorframe. "Syuusuke. Are you prepared to let things end like this?"

"Well," Fuji frowned thoughtfully, and then he shrugged. "What other way can they? I don't think you should be worrying about these things, Tezuka. Your life's work is about to pay off, unless you mess it up."

Tezuka continued to glare at him, but Fuji was used to this, and his smile didn't falter. Finally, Tezuka stepped back, emotion flashing across his face before he turned away from Fuji. "Fine. Good luck, Syuusuke. I... I won't forget you." He walked away from Fuji's house quickly, leaving Fuji breathless, aching, and smiling behind.

On top of it all, it was his choice, so he couldn't even be angry with Tezuka. Fuji started to laugh, still stuck in the doorstop.

It was cruel of Tezuka not to play the role of the bad guy for Fuji's benefit.





reconciliation





He had slipped away from his manager. It was childish, but he didn't want anyone to see him like this. He had won, but just barely, and there was no way he was going to survive the next round, not against Federer, not with this arm. Not like this, not now.

Damn his luck. He leaned back against the wall, and poured the water bottle over his head. He barely felt it, even though it was ice cold.

He wanted to keep playing for a bit longer. Just a bit longer. He knew he wasn't ready to reach the final four, yet, not in his current condition. Wimbledon just wasn't going to be his stage this year. He knew that. But... if he wasn't playing...

"Here you are."

That voice was familiar. Too familiar. He was sure it was just a dream, but dreams didn't pull at his shirt like that. He opened his eyes, and stared blankly into Fuji's eyes. Fuji seemed angry. "Syuusu-"

"I can't believe how stupid you are. Playing Atobe when your arm was already gone was one thing. Well, maybe it was the same thing. It doesn't matter. My point is, you're an idiot. Now, take off your shirt."

Mutely, Tezuka did as he was told, though lifting his arm over his head hurt, a lot. Fuji cursed, and pulled Tezuka over to a bench, sitting him down.

"You know, you have trainers. They get paid a lot of money. Very good money, your money." Fuji's nimble, small hands started to knead the muscles of Tezuka's neck and shoulders. He groaned, because it hurt, but it felt so good, too.

And... these were Fuji's hands...

"You should look into the whole trainer thing. Seems a waste to spend that much money and then not even let the poor guy do his job. My god, Tezuka... how bad is this?"

He sounded horrified. He sounded... scared. Tezuka bent his head back, and looked up at Fuji. For the first time, he saw the camera strapped around Fuji's neck. He smiled, despite everything. "You're still allowed to call me Kunimitsu. You haven't forgotten, have you?"

Fuji just looked at him for a moment, and then his hand came up to cup Tezuka's cheek, his thumb swiping out to brush over Tezuka's lips. "'Mitsu... you idiot. Why aren't you taking care of yourself?"

He caught Fuji's hand, and kissed the palm softly. "But... on the plus side... you never would have chased after me if everything was fine. Right?"

Fuji swore again, this time in French. He must have been traveling around as much as Tezuka was these days. "You're an idiot."

Tezuka looked balefully at his shoulder. "I can't exactly argue with you now."





makeup





They were about to leave Kawamura sushi, but Tezuka caught Fuji's arm. There was a loud burst of thunder, and the group, as a whole, gasped.

These little reunions of the old tennis team were getting harder and harder. It was considered a miracle that Tezuka and Fuji had been able to join them, but the group had dwindled, and besides them, only Oishi, Eiji, Taka, of course, and Momoshiro had been able to attend.

Taka laughed, and offered everyone coffee and green tea ice cream, but Fuji was aware that Tezuka's hand was still on his arm, and despite the ominous conditions, his heart felt light. "Maybe another time, Taka." He looked up into Tezuka's eyes, and winked.

Tezuka still didn't let go after Fuji ran into the rain, and so he was forced to keep up with Fuji. His hand did slide down as they ran, but Fuji caught it, grasping it tightly.

He laughed out loud as they ran in the rain, laughed louder than the thunder that shook the traffic lights.

"Fuji!" Tezuka pulled Fuji over, and they went through a small park, finding shelter in a small gazebo. It was probably used for the community's festivals, and for wedding pictures. Fuji would have liked it if he had his camera. He hadn't brought it, because he didn't want to be pulled into taking pictures of the group, but it was rare to see Tezuka dripping wet like this.

"You're insane," Tezuka sighed, wiping the excess moisture from Fuji's hair.

Fuji stood patiently, and let Tezuka groom him, making no effort to shake the water from Tezuka's sexy bangs. "What do you mean? Just because I like the rain?"

Thunder roared, making Tezuka scowl harder, and Fuji laugh. "It's dangerous," Tezuka chided.

Fuji slipped closer to Tezuka. "Maybe that's why I like it."

"You're impossible," Tezuka sighed. "It's almost a monsoon. We'll be frozen and soaked by the time we get back to the hotel."

"Will you warm me up, 'Mitsu?" Fuji asked, rocking back and forth on his feet.

Tezuka smiled, and Fuji felt lost, undone by that rare expression. "Can I?" he asked softly, before leaning down, and covering Fuji's mouth with his own. Fuji gripped Tezuka's arms tightly, digging his nails in, as if he could break and mark the skin.

"Always," Fuji purred, and the thunder clapped as if in agreement.








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