title: the Apartment: Locks
fandom: Prince of Tennis
characters/pairings: Tezuka/Fuji, Yumiko
rating: Teen
warnings: hijinks
summary: Yumiko takes her chances.
notes: second in a would-be series of fics, following the Apartment: U.S. Open.

It wasn't that she was a bad person. She was just a firm believer in taking opportunity with both hands. Like, for instance, when Tezuka-kun came back from morning practice looking completely worn out. Her brother was in Shinjuku at a photo shoot. She nodded to him in greeting, but didn't say anything. Calmly, she went to the refrigerator and put together an ice pack.

She didn't bother to knock, because they were practically siblings, and she never knocked at home. She always announced her presence, but that was moot. She smiled brightly, and held out the ice pack.

She was fifty seconds too early, though. Tezuka-kun had his shirt off, but he was still wearing his shorts.

"I brought you an ice pack," she said brightly.

He looked like he was going to throw up. "Thank you." He waited for a moment, and then he sighed, and took the ice pack.

They looked at each other for a moment, and then he sighed again.

"If you'll excuse me," he said pointedly.

Fifty seconds too soon. Damn. She beamed at him. "No problem. Take care of your body, Tezuka-kun. It's important to my cute little brother."

He sighed again, and she almost burst out laughing.

It would have been too much to follow him into the shower just then. She had to space things out, or he might overcome his shyness and ingrained formality and actually confront her.

So, she waited three days. Syuusuke was sleeping in after a late night's work, and Tezuka was starting the shower before practice. She had work herself, so she intentionally waited to brush her teeth until after he had turned on the water, and she really did only have ten minutes to leave.

She stepped into the bathroom... but Tezuka-kun was the sink, shaving. He looked at her like she might have tentacles coming out of her ears. She smiled sheepishly. "Sorry, I have to be at work soon. Mind if we share the sink?"

He continued to stare at her, disbelieving.

She smiled brightly, and went up to him, bumping him with her hips. But damn, that towel was tightly knotted.

Really, Tezuka-kun was quite a prude! And after all this time he'd spent with her little brother...

She leaned across the sink, and grabbed her toothbrush. "This will only take a second. I'm running late. I hope my hair looks all right!" She started to brush her teeth, knowing that he knew that she knew her hair always looked perfect.

He didn't even keep shaving. He just stared at her like she had six heads. Rude.

She finished brushing her teeth, and she straightened up her hair a bit. "You shouldn't let me disturb you. We're like siblings, right? Just keep doing whatever it was that you were doing."

He closed his eyes and sighed in a long-suffering manner. "I can wait."

Her lips twitched. Really, it shouldn't be such a hardship for anyone to have her fawning over him. She leaned in, and kissed the cheek that Tezuka had shaved already. She winked at him, amused by his shocked expression. "Very smooth, Tezuka-kun."

As she walked away, she swung her hips just a bit.

She pondered it for a few days, during which time Tezuka-kun was watching her very warily. He was a very cautious person, and that was the problem. She couldn't use normal methods with him.

During that Sunday, she and Syuusuke were watching some variety program on television when Tezuka-kun returned home from training. He sat down for a minute, and kissed Syuusuke as a greeting, but then he got up to shower. She waited until the water turned off, and then she set aside her magazine, and got up. Syuusuke just grinned, and said, "You're going to scar him for life, you know," but his gaze never wavered from the television screen.

If he wasn't going to stop her, that was like giving her permission.

She went to the bathroom, and opened the door casually, as if she really had no idea he was in there. She got a good eyeful, too. He had his back to the door, and he was drying himself, but his backside was completely bare.

For seven seconds, and then his towel went swishing around his hips.

"Yumiko-san!" he chastised her cutely.

"Oh, sorry, Tezuka-kun! I thought you were done." She beamed at him.

"I'm not, clearly," he stated rather pointedly.

She continued to smile at him.

He scowled. "Could you please leave, then?"

Pouting, she put her hands on her hips. "But I really wanted to use the facilities." She looked at the toilet forlornly.

He exhaled sharply, obviously very annoyed. "Fine, then." He picked up a few things, and walked around her to leave. She could hear him shutting the door to their room loudly. Tezuka-kun would never slam a door shut, but he did as much as his sense of propriety would allow.

She looked down at the toilet and sighed.

She made herself go, because she had chased away Tezuka so she could, and then she went back to the living room to wait for Tezuka to come out to be with her brother. The variety show became a news show, and then it was a game show. She wasn't even pretending to read her magazine anymore.

"Does he hate me?" she asked quietly.

Syuusuke didn't look up at her, but his smile changed. "No. But he doesn't understand you."

"He understands you, and you and I are the most alike in our family," she sulked.

He winked at her. "He works at understanding me. We went to school together. We grew up together. I played tennis with him."

"So, I need to learn to play tennis so he can relate to me?" she asked petulantly.

Syuusuke laughed. "That might help. But. He is actually trying to be friends with you. I know you can't tell based on the way he's acting, but he is. You just need to give him some space. Think of him as a stray kitten. Sure, he's cute and you want to pet him and feed him, but if you're ever going to get close, you have to leave him some food and back off."

"I'm quite certain he would resent that metaphor terribly," she commented, shaking her head.

He got up and winked at her. "It's up to you, what you do with my advice."

He was lucky she didn't chuck her magazine at him as he walked away.

He poked his nose in the room, looking around as if there might be ninjas in hiding inside. He winked at Tezuka. "Is it safe to come in, or are you hiding out from me, too?"

"I'm not hiding out," he insisted, but the slight tone of sulkiness in his voice somewhat belied his words. "Come in, Syuusuke."

Fuji did as instructed, but he leaned on the door after he closed it. "So. Why are you being so antisocial?"

Tezuka made a face, and looked away. "We... we need to talk. About our... living arrangements."

Fuji raised an eyebrow. "Do we?"

Looking away self-consciously, Tezuka frowned. "When your sister first moved in, she said it would just be for a little while. I certainly wouldn't have objected, with her circumstances... her boyfriend up and left her virtually homeless, and I didn't want to send her back to your parents... But that was a year ago. She's saved up enough money to get a place of her own now, don't you think?"

Fuji narrowed his eyes, and strolled over to the bed. "But there's no reason for her to move out. We have an extra bedroom. And it saves her a lot of money."

"Syuusuke," Tezuka pleaded. "It's like she's trying to torture me with some twisted game of cat and mouse."

"She's not torturing you," Fuji rolled his eyes. "She just wants to see you naked."

"That's the same thing," Tezuka deadpanned.

Fuji didn't want to smile, but damn it... "'Mitsu. You travel for a third of the year, at least. You're on the other side of the planet more often than not. If she wasn't here, I'd be living alone most of the time."

"That's..." Tezuka blushed, and looked away. "We discussed this, and we agreed..."

"She's not moving out," Fuji said declaratively, quietly.

Tezuka nodded once. And took a deep breath. "Something needs to change, though."

She crossed her arms over her chest, and pouted. Harder. "This really isn't necessary. Syuusuke, tell him it's not necessary!"

Syuusuke sipped his coffee slowly. "Mm. But he's having so much fun with this. And." He licked his lips, and leaned over. "That tool belt is really hot. I really don't think I want to discourage him from wearing it."

Tezuka looked over his shoulder at Syuusuke, and grinned. And then he turned his attention back to the doorframe.

"Installing locks seems hard." Syuusuke leaned over, exaggerating his expression of admiration. "If you need your brow wiped, let me know."

"Understood," Tezuka said, the very corner of his mouth turned up in amusement.

She threw up her hands in annoyance. "I give up. You two are hopeless! This isn't necessary!" She stomped off to the kitchen.

Fuji took another sip of coffee. "You're putting a lock on our bedroom door, too, right?"

"Absolutely," Tezuka replied quickly.

Fuji just grinned.

Well, if Yumiko got too frustrated, he did have some pictures he could use to bribe her...