title: Games People Play
fandom: Prince of Tennis
characters/pairings: Fuji/Tezuka, Fuji/Atobe, then Fuji/Tezuka again, Oishi/Eiji, Yumiko, Yuuta/OFC, some Yuuta/Mizuki, Inui, Taka, Yuushi/Gakuto, Saeki/Ann, Yukimura/Sanada, Momoshiro, Kaidou, Echizen
rating: M
warnings: me pretending to know things about actual tennis, vicious flirting, sex (many kinds), one rough non-con scene, emotional pain
summary: Misunderstanding, hurt emotions, pain, sex, love... all tools in the game.
notes: takes place post-series, much post series... there is Atobe/Fuji. And Fuji/Tezuka. ultimately, and initially, fuji/tezzie, but there will be a great deal of fuji/atobe in the meanwhile.

It was raining, naturally, because it was always raining when one moved, if it wasn't snowing. Of course, there wasn't really much to move. The apartment came furnished, which was nice, although he was free to redecorate as long as he used the service associated with the rental agency.

It didn't particularly matter to Tezuka, one way or the other. He had let his agent handle all the details, and he had gone down to Oishi's university for the morning. Oishi had students, but he was still very glad to see his old friend. Tezuka didn't need to feel awkward, because it was Oishi, and time may pass, but Oishi would always be Oishi.

He had picked the neighborhood for his new apartment because Fuji had said when they were in middle school that he liked this neighborhood. He picked a color scheme that reminded him of Fuji. His possessions were moved in, as much as he had available, but until Fuji moved in, he would feel as if it was incomplete.

Oishi had followed him to the new place, managing to keep up a steady stream of chatter, despite Tezuka's lack of initiative. It wasn't in his nature to complain in general, but today, the rain had never been less attractive, the subway had never been more congested, the streets had never been more crowded with idiots, and there was no slower elevator in the world up to his apartment.

Even Oishi could only manage so much cheer in the face of such a mood.

"It's a nice place, Tezuka." That was the fourth time Oishi had said that. Clearly, he was hoping for something more than a scowl.

"You knew about Atobe." Not a direct response, but the best he could come up with, now that they were alone, and they could talk.

Oishi looked away. "Of course I did. He's my friend, too."

"You never told me," Tezuka sighed. He had a decent view. There was a park just across the street; there were even tennis courts. It was a good view, even if it was raining.

"When was I supposed to tell you, Tezuka? You never called." That was as close to a reproach as Oishi would get, and it sounded more like a regret.

Tezuka put his hand on the glass. It hurt to raise his arm this high. Tomorrow, it would likely be worse. "I'm inapproachable, it appears."

"Tezuka..." Oishi fussed. He fussed when he was nervous. That was true, even in middle school. "He loves you."

That was quiet, and it hurt. "I'm sure he does, but he doesn't have any trouble fucking him, even still." Tezuka curled his fingers into a ball, and squeezed his fist as tightly as he could. "Why didn't you tell me?"

Oishi was making tea. It was absurd, but comforting, somehow. "What was I supposed to do, Tezuka? You'd left."

Again and again, he was faced with the same thing. Unavoidable. "My fault, then. It's because of me that he's screwing that prima donna asshole. That makes sense. I wonder if I was out of the country before he was on his back." He didn't think he was this bitter, but he certainly sounded like he was.

"Tezuka," Oishi warned, softly. "That's not fair. He..."

"Atobe, Oishi. Why Atobe? I thought I knew him. I thought... I suppose I was wrong." He closed his eyes, leaning forward just a bit. "I never would have guessed that he would be... promiscuous."

"Tezuka, that's not fair!" Oishi protested.

"Fair?" Tezuka scoffed. "Life isn't fair, Oishi. If it were, I wouldn't be moving into this apartment alone, while he's letting Atobe do nefarious things to his body. Atobe. Perhaps it's for the best. Apparently, he needs something I don't have. There is a limited amount of time I can spend staring at myself in the mirror before I get bored. I'm certainly not depraved enough."

"Tezuka!" Oishi cried out, sounding desperate.

Tezuka started pacing. "It makes me sick, Oishi. It is sick. I just don't understand how the man I loved could be with him. Which means that the man I loved must be gone. He gave him up so he could be with Atobe."

"You don't understand..."

"Of course I don't," Tezuka spat out angrily. "What's to understand? What does he have in common with that peacock? Nothing. He had nothing in common with him, but it's been a long time, I suppose. It's his choice, of course. He made his own choice. I never thought Fuji would be shallow, but maybe Atobe is that good in bed."

"Tezuka, stop it!" Oishi raised his voice, and slammed the teapot down on the counter.

Tezuka turned to look at Oishi.

He took a deep breath, and he started to speak, forcefully. "You don't have the right to say these things. You left. He didn't know when or if you were coming back; no one did. He was... he was waiting for you, Tezuka. And he was..." Oishi sighed, and looked away. "He wasn't like Fuji. He wasn't... He couldn't... He was waiting for you, Tezuka."

Tezuka watched Oishi carefully, searching for each nuance of meaning in his body language and tone of voice. Oishi looked pained, and he wasn't meeting Tezuka's gaze.

"He was waiting. Just... going through the motions, jumping every time the phone rang. And then..." Oishi turned his back to Tezuka. "When he first ran into Atobe... Atobe annoyed him. He challenged him. And... Fuji was a bit more like himself.

"When news hit about you and... that girl... Inui had sent Fuji a copy of the London paper the day before it hit the stands. Fuji was... Eiji and I weren't any help. I think... we made it seem like someone had died. Atobe... he made it better, Tezuka. When Fuji started to get serious about photography, Atobe's connections in the art world made things much easier for him. Tezuka... you can't repair what's been lost between the two of you if you don't acknowledge that there is something that Atobe can offer him that Fuji needs."

Tezuka put his back to the window, and stared at his modern, antiseptic couch. "Then I've already lost him..."

Oishi chuckled softly. "You can win him back. The only hard part is admitting you were wrong."

He put his head in his hand. "I need him, Oishi."

He didn't hear Oishi approach him, but he wasn't surprised when Oishi put his hand on his shoulder. "Get him back, then, Tezuka."

Tezuka sighed. He didn't think it would be that easy.

He could get his job done if the damned phone would stop ringing. Or if his inbox wasn't filled with panicked messages that drained away his time by drops as he dealt with them. Or if his damned secretary wasn't so busy flirting with the entire accounting department to get his coffee for him like she was supposed to...

He wasn't entirely surprised to find that the chair opposite his desk was occupied when he got back, because this particular visitor often dropped in unannounced, and it had been a few weeks. He could have picked a better morning.

"Oshitari, you have five minutes, and then I want you gone."

"Ah, Kei-chan, that's not nice. You should treat your friends better. Or is your cute little lover being too tight for you to be in a good mood?" Oshitari was skilled at sneering like no one else Atobe had ever met. It was infuriating, to say the least.

"Call me that again, Oshitari, and I'll make you significantly less useful to Mukahi," Atobe showed his friend his own sneer as he sat down behind his desk. "What did you want?"

Oshitari chuckled, and leaned back, putting his feet up on Atobe's desk. "Wanted to let you know that we won't be going to your lover's little party on Friday. Gakuto has been whining to me a lot about his work schedule, so I'm taking him to the hot springs this weekend. By the way, can you get me reservations to the hot springs this weekend?"

Atobe glared, and pushed Oshitari's feet off of his desk. "I'm not surprised Mukahi whines, with a layabout like you hanging around. Do I look like a travel agent to you?"

"You're very uptight," Oshitari grinned, leaning forward. "Mm, this wouldn't anything to do with the fact that Tezuka is in town, would it? Don't tell me you've been losing sleep, waiting up for Fuji-kun to come home?"

"Honestly, how do you know anything about that? Did they publish his homecoming in the paper?" Atobe groused, turning to his email. Another twenty messages. It wasn't like they were working for a law firm or a biotech company. What could possibly be so urgent in the hotel business to warrant all this furor?

Oshitari chuckled. "Jirou called us. He was all excited because Tezuka is training in his gym. He's hoping he gets a chance to play him before he leaves for England."

Atobe shook his head. "That Jirou. You're going to the hot springs this weekend? I'll have my secretary call as soon as she gets back from whoring herself on the third floor."

He expected Oshitari to say 'thank you' in his snide way, or at least say goodbye, but after a moment of quiet, Atobe looked up to find himself being scrutinized. "Don't tell me you're going to give up to the tennis star? You surprise me, Atobe."

Scowling, Atobe turned back to his email. "What in the world makes you think I'm going to give up? Trust me, I know where my lover sleeps every night."

"Ah, well, that's good," Oshitari said pessimistically. "But how do you plan on keeping him?"

"Isn't my natural charm enough?" Atobe wasn't being entirely serious or sarcastic.

"Perhaps," Oshitari laughed. "But I think your opponent has a great deal of natural charm, as well."

"He has the personality of a block of wood," Atobe replied flatly.

"Do you think Fuji-kun likes wood?" Oshitari asked with affected innocence.

Atobe scowled.

Oshitari chuckled. "It's not like you to lack confidence. You're always so sure of what's yours. Are you sure you are feeling well?"

"I know perfectly well what's mine, Oshitari," Atobe returned icily. "This isn't really any of your business."

"Maybe it's for the best," Oshitari mused. "After all, it must be a great disappointment to your father that you are living so ostensibly with another man. You can leave Fuji-kun, and make it seem like it was your idea, and you can marry some nice, bloodless woman who can make beautiful babies for you. It's the proper thing for someone in your position to do, isn't it?"

Atobe dropped his hands in his lap, and glared at Oshitari. "I don't concern myself with my father's good regard, and neither should you. As far as that goes, shouldn't you be more worried? After all, your very proper Kansai family can't be pleased to have you living in Tokyo with another man who works to support you while you pretend to be a novelist."

Oshitari just laughed. "My second novel will be done soon. And my situation is different. After all, Gakuto loves me back." He stood up, and put his hands on the desk, leaning over to smirk in Atobe's face. "You made a mistake when you got involved with that one."

Atobe lifted his hand slowly, his forefinger and thumb forming an 'o', and he rather deliberately flicked Oshitari's nose. "Don't shove your counsel off on me, Oshitari. I can manage my own business myself."

Oshitari rubbed his nose, annoyed, and he straightened up. "I'm only saying this as a friend. If you are going to lose, you'd be better off cutting him loose now, rather than waiting for him to leave you."

"I don't lose," Atobe grumbled.

"Neither does Tezuka-san," Oshitari reminded cheerfully. "It doesn't matter, I suppose. It will be entertaining, either way."

Atobe felt like throwing something at him, but he didn't have anything sufficiently large and sharp nearby.

Oshitari laughed as he left. "Remember, I'm just being a good friend! And don't forget about the hot springs reservations, Kei-chan!"

He would have liked to slam the door behind Oshitari, but he would have to get up to do that, and it wouldn't do any good, anyway. There was just no helping that one.

Atobe spent a great deal of time pondering whether or not to tell his secretary to call the hot springs.

He took a step back to survey his work, and ran right into a warm body that was very willing to hold onto him. He smiled, but his attention was still on the walls.

"What do you think? And please be honest."

"When am I not honest, Syuusuke?" Atobe put his chin on Fuji's shoulder, and looked over the presentation carefully. "I think you're more worried about this show than normal. Expecting someone special to show up?"

Fuji ran his hands over Atobe's arms, tightly embracing him. "Someone special always shows up. But regardless, what do you think of the work?"

Atobe brushed his lips over Fuji's cheek, and smiled. "It's both as good as you've ever done, and as bad."

Fuji cocked his head to the side and regarded the photographs on the wall. "Elaborate."

"Some pieces are vibrant, suggesting life. Some pieces, though, are nothing more than more of the same of what you've done before." He pulled Fuji closer as he spoke, rubbing his cheek against Fuji's.

Fuji took a moment to consider, and then smiled. "It's true, but I think the show will be a success anyway, don't you?"

Atobe chuckled. "Most likely."

Sighing, Fuji relaxed against Atobe. "I hate it when things are too easy."

"With you, lover, nothing is ever easy," Atobe chuckled.

Fuji turned away from the pictures, pushing his face against Atobe's chest. "Mm, but you like a challenge, don't you, Keigo?"

"Always," Atobe murmured. "You didn't include it."

Fuji didn't reply right away, but his smile got wider. "It's personal."

"I'm not sure how to take that," Atobe sighed. "You have a picture of me wearing nothing but my charming smile up there. It's not indecent, but it's intimate. That picture isn't even that revealing." Fuji wasn't going to say anything, Atobe knew, but he gave him a chance to, anyway. "I suppose if you are one of the few to see those eyes, you don't necessarily want to share them."

Fuji pulled away from Atobe's arms, and turned his back fully to the wall with his work. "It's done, at any rate. Let's go out. Take me out, Keigo." He smiled, and took Atobe's hands in his own.

Shaking his head, Atobe pulled Fuji close for a kiss. "Are we celebrating, honey, or running away?"

"Carpe diem," Fuji winked. "There's not a moment to waste, sweetie."

Atobe followed Fuji slowly, feeling like he was walking through mud.

He didn't know how to dress for a gallery opening, so he just had Sam pick out clothes for him. She clearly resented the task, but she didn't let that keep her from doing a good job. He glanced at his reflection in the window before he entered the gallery. His pants were sleek, black silk, and they hung nicely, his shirt was white, with a stripped textured pattern, and he had a black blazer on that was fitted, and cut well to display his body. He wore the shirt mostly open, and his usual charm at his neck.

He looked good enough to see Fuji, he thought.

The gallery was called Grand Slam, and the exterior was rather simple, bordering on the aesthetic. There were security guards at the door, checking identification against their lists. Surprisingly, there was quite a crowd outside, even.

Inside, it was wall-to-wall people. Tezuka found large crowds to be stifling, and his first impulse was to exit again immediately, but he needed to see Fuji. He navigated his way around, nearly jumping when a helpful young lady in black pants and a white shirt offered him a slip of paper in exchange for his blazer. He wasn't confident that he was still properly attired without it, but he didn't think it was polite to refuse.

The gallery wasn't huge. There was a reception area, and a small room to the left, which was currently displaying the work of scholarship winners of a local university. The main portion of the gallery was to the right, and that's were the crowd was the thickest, as well.

Tezuka took a glass of champagne, simply because he was cornered and had no way of communicating his lack of interest. He wasn't able to look over the photographs on the wall very easily, either, because there were too many people there. He did see some, when he got close enough to the walls. There was one of Oishi and Kikumaru, where Kikumaru had an... interesting look on his face. There was a picture of a hand, surrounded by flowers. The hand was crushing a flower bud, and it appeared to be bleeding. There was a picture that appeared to be on a stage at a fashion show, the lights blurred, suggesting motion, and the center of focus seemed to shift depending on which angle from which the picture was viewed.

He wasn't prepared to see Fuji when he did, even though it was the entire purpose of his evening.

Fuji was wearing a sheer, textured white shirt, buttoned in the middle, over a series of interconnected black leather straps that spanned his torso, and black leather pants. He had a black leather collar around his throat, with a shiny silver buckle. His hair was streaked with black highlights. And, he had Atobe strapped to his waist, wearing a silk black suit, and a matching collar.

His choice of wardrobe was enough to make Tezuka dizzy, but it was the way he was with Atobe that made Tezuka sick to his stomach. They were in the middle of a circle of well-dressed sophisticates, all of whom appeared to believe that they were part of an elite caste, and Atobe was telling some sort of joke. Fuji was looking at him with a mixture of amusement and affection.

They fit together, in this circle of people, in this setting; they were kings in their own kingdom.

Tezuka watched them, careful to stay out of Fuji's line of sight. The two of them worked the crowd with polished ease. Everyone they talked to left thinking they were the most important person who had talked to the artist that night, and yet, they didn't linger too long with any one group of people. They were openly affectionate with one another, and it seemed to be part of the 'show' for the evening. They clearly knew that they were doing.

It was torture, but Tezuka had to stay to watch. He saw other people in the crowd he knew as well, like Oishi and Kikumaru, and Kawamura, but he evaded them as well.

Fuji was beautiful. This was the universe he had been born to inhabit, a world in which he could hold the spotlight and shine. And Atobe had brought him here.

Tezuka lifted his glass, and swallowed the contents all at once, barely able to taste the liquid. This was pointless. Even if he could get Fuji's attention, this wasn't the arena for him to make his move. He shuffled his way through the crowd, slipped away from Oishi at one point, until he found the coat check.

There was no one inside, so Tezuka slipped in, and started to look for his blazer. It was really nothing more than a closet, stuffed to capacity with coats, shawls, and jackets. He found the section that corresponded to his number, at least he thought he had, but his blazer was nowhere to be found.

"Leaving so soon, Tezuka-kun?"

He knew that voice too well. He froze.

Fuji clucked his tongue. "And you didn't even say hello. That's rude. Having trouble finding something?"

Tezuka turned to face him, blanking his expression. He cleared his throat, but he couldn't think of anything to say. He held up his coat check ticket, and looked over Fuji's shoulder. "You're quite the success."

Fuji took the ticket from Tezuka, making sure to brush his fingers over Tezuka's as he did. "People love a good party. Let's see..." He stepped inside the coat check, slipping in close to Tezuka so he could close the door. "It's hard to think with all that noise, isn't it? Besides, I'd like a chance to just... talk to you."

"Do you still want to talk to me, Syuusuke?" Fuji was standing very close, close enough for Tezuka to smell the trace of cologne wafting off of him.

"I asked you to come tonight, didn't I, Tezuka?" Fuji smiled a bit too brightly, and stepped just a bit closer to Tezuka.

Tezuka winced a bit at the forceful way in which Fuji used his name. "You look..."

Fuji tilted his head to the side, waiting for Tezuka to finish his sentence. "Sexy? Do you think I look sexy?"

He felt hot. There wasn't any air circulating in here, and they were surrounded by coats. Fuji had reached out to run his fingers over Tezuka's hand. He couldn't look Fuji in the eye. "You always do."

"Mm," Fuji sighed. "That's not very encouraging." He leaned forward, putting his arms around Tezuka. "Are you glad you came tonight, Tezuka?"

He turned his head so he could look Fuji in the eye, their noses brushing together. "Are you?"

Fuji pulled back, and looked at the ticket in his hand. "No, of course not. I'm entirely dissatisfied." He turned around, and reached out, pulling out Tezuka's blazer without needing to look at all. "I wanted a chance to show you my work. I wanted to spend time with you. But it's the opening... You'll have to come back." Fuji held open Tezuka blazer for him.

Tezuka turned around, and let Fuji slip his jacket on for him. He felt his heart pounding. Fuji's hands ran up his arms, and settled on his shoulders, probing gently. He took the hand on his left shoulder, and turned, lifting the hand to kiss it. "Tell me when, and I'll be back."

"You only have another week in Japan, right?" Fuji said it casually, but he wasn't pulling his hand away, and he had clearly remembered Tezuka's schedule.

"My time is your time if you want it," Tezuka shrugged. He tightened his grip on Fuji's hand. "When can I see you again?"

Fuji slipped his hand away slowly, his smile curling up coyly, his eyes downcast. "Come back on Monday. You can see the show properly." He leaned up, put his hand on Tezuka's face, and kissed Tezuka fleetingly.

He opened the door and left. Tezuka waited a moment for his flesh to cool, and then he exited, making his way to the door out as efficiently as he could.

Monday. That wasn't too far away.

Fuji swung his keys around his finger a few times before dropping them on the counter. He was still whistling some of the music that they had played tonight, a bit off-key, just because it was more fun that way. Atobe had been very quiet on the way home, and that was annoying. Fuji sauntered into the kitchen, and opened the refrigerator.

"It was fun, wasn't it, Keigo? Don't tell me you're tired... That would be so disappointing." Fuji opened up a bottle of water, and took a long, long gulp.

Atobe stayed on the other side of the counter separating the kitchen from the dining room. He was watching Fuji from hooded eyes.

Fuji sighed, and rubbed the water bottle over his forehead. "Are you brooding, Keigo? How boring."

Atobe was glaring. "I saw you."

"Saw me?" Fuji cocked his head to the side. "Of course you did. We were together all night long."

"Not quite all night," Atobe corrected with a tight growl as he prowled around the counter, closing in on Fuji. "There was a time when you left my side."

Fuji sighed. "Did you miss me, baby?"

Atobe reached out a grabbed Fuji's wrist, forcing him to drop the water bottle, which rolled away. Fuji snarled, but Atobe pulled him in close. "Do you honestly believe you can do whatever the hell you want, right in front of me? I'm not amused, Syuusuke."

He pulled at his arm, but Atobe just tightened his grip. "Isn't that what you think, honey? Let go of me."

"Let go of you?" Atobe sneered, grabbing Fuji's other arm, as well. "I damn well will not. You're mine, Syuusuke, and I'm tired of playing these games."

"That's all we do, sweetie," Fuji struggled, planting his feet so he could try to get out of Atobe's grip, but Atobe wasn't letting go. "If you want to stop, it's fine with me. And last I checked, I wasn't property."

"Did you fuck him in the coat closet, you little..." Atobe bit off the sentence, his face twisted in disgust and wretchedness. "Did you get down on your knees like a good little acolyte, and give him a blowjob?"

"Jealous, Keigo?" Fuji sneered. "You should be."

Atobe tossed Fuji onto the floor roughly, and dropped on top of him, pinning his hands and his legs down. "You little bitch... I'm done with this, Syuusuke. You aren't going back to him. I'm not ready to give up on you." He covered Fuji's mouth, biting at him.

Fuji's head was still ringing from hitting the floor, and his arms were sore where Atobe had grabbed him. It was getting hard to breathe. He tried to shift, to push Atobe off, to free an arm or leg, but he couldn't get leverage. Atobe broke off the kiss, and moved Fuji's hands so he could hold them both in one hand, and he shoved his free hand in Fuji's pants.

"This is mine, Syuu-chan, and I'm not going to share you. He left you. He didn't want you. And I did, and I still do. It's time you forgot about Tezuka, forever."

Atobe was biting him, biting his nipple, grabbing his groin roughly. It hurt. He snarled, and tried to move, but it didn't matter. Atobe was bigger than he was, and he had the advantage. Fuji couldn't get free.

He gritted his teeth, and turned his head away, closing his eyes tightly.

"You're about to do something you won't be able to take back."

Atobe froze. He let go of Fuji, pushing off so he could stand up. He huffed disgustedly at Fuji. He kicked Fuji in a not entirely accidental way as he walked away.

As he approached the stairs to the bedroom, he looked over his shoulder at the kitchen.

"I hate the way you make me feel."

Fuji stayed on the floor, cradling himself, until he heard the water starting in the shower upstairs. He was laughing, which was surprising, even to himself, but he couldn't stop. He turned to his side, and pushed himself up, eventually getting to his feet. He felt old, and tired. He could go upstairs, in theory, but he really didn't want to; he grabbed his keys and left.

He wrapped his arms around his body, and bit his lip to keep from laughing. It was four thirty in the morning, it was dark, it was cold, and he had no idea where he was going. It should be Atobe out on the street, not him. He felt sick from being too cold and hungry and slightly hung over.

He really had no idea where he was going. He recognized that he was headed for Eiji and Oishi's neighborhood when he passed the coffee shop he sometimes met Eiji at for breakfast. He kept going until he got to their building, but he walked right past it. Eiji would just let him go to sleep, but Oishi would worry, and fuss over him, and maybe even call Tezuka if he knew Tezuka's number. It seemed complex.

He started to laugh again when he realized that he would go to Tezuka if he knew where he was.

His sister was completely out of the question. She had small children, and her husband would look over his shoulder, trying to ignore that he had married into this 'deviancy,' and she would get angry. There really wasn't anyone else he would trust.

When he got to the building, the doorman recognized him and let him in without calling upstairs, so he had to knock fairly loudly to wake Yuuta up. He heard Yuuta grumbling on the other side of the door as he shuffled to answer it, but he kept knocking, because it was the sort of thing he would do. Yuuta glared at him as soon as he opened the door.

"Aniki, what the hell?"

Fuji smiled. "Let me stay the night, ok?"

Yuuta grumbled, and stepped aside, letting him enter. "Fuck, aniki, you're soaking wet. How long have you been out in the rain?"

"Was it raining?" Fuji sighed, forcing his smile a little wider. He brushed his hand through his hair, squeezing out fat drops of water. "Ah, I hadn't noticed. Too bad. I like the rain. I'm sorry, Yuuta, I'm dripping on your floor." He turned and smiled brightly at his brother.

Sighing, Yuuta locked the door and walked past Fuji. "What the hell? What happened, did something go badly at the show?" Yuuta looked a bit shamefaced.

Fuji laughed quietly. Yuuta never came to his shows; he hated the art crowds. His sister never came, either, because she preferred to view his work when it was just the two of them. She got too angry when she heard criticism. "No, nothing's wrong. Is it ok? What's-her-face isn't here, is she?"

Yuuta rolled his eyes. "Right, everything's perfect. That's why you were out in the rain for hours and are here, instead of at home."

Fuji was really too tired for this. He turned his brightest smile on for Yuuta. "We don't get enough time together, don't you think?"

"You don't have to do this," Yuuta frowned, looking down. "I'm not a little kid. You can be honest with me. Did he hurt you?"

His smile faltered. "I'm tired, Yuuta. Don't ask me any questions, all right?"

For a moment, Yuuta just looked at him, considering. The he smiled tightly. "Have a shower, aniki. I'll get you something to sleep in."

Fuji sighed. He peeled off his clothes in the bathroom, just tossing them into a pile in the corner. He ripped the collar off viciously, and spent far too much time getting himself caught in the straps that were interlaced over his torso. He practically ripped the seams of his pants pulling them off.

It felt good to be naked, and under the spray of hot water. It felt like his skin was burning at first, but it was good, a heat that spread down to his bones. He had bruises on his arms, light ones, just pale yellow, spread out where Atobe's hands had been. He sighed, and closed his eyes, putting his face into the spray, just rinsing his body in the water.

Yuuta had slipped some pajamas in the bathroom while he was in the shower. They fit loosely on him, and the pants were too long, but it felt nice to be wrapped up in something soft and familial. Before he could slip out of the bedroom to sleep on the couch, Yuuta scooted over on the bed.

"It's plenty big enough."

Fuji smiled, genuinely, though Yuuta couldn't see it. "Thanks, Yuuta."

Yuuta grumbled. "Just stay on your side of the bed, ok?"

Fuji laughed, though there was no force to his chuckles. "No problem."

It was quiet, and warm, and dark, and he was going to just fall into a dead sleep in a minute, but he couldn't stop smiling. "Hey, Yuuta... this is becoming a habit with us, isn't it?"

"Just go to sleep, aniki," Yuuta sighed.

ProloguePart OnePart TwoPart Three • Part Four • Part FivePart SixPart SevenPart EightEpilogue