Genre: Angstish, bit of drama… um… yeah
Pairing: Kinda sorta almost TezxFuji
Summary: What’s behind a smile…?
Warning: Shonen ai, Cuteness, um… snugglieness and crap too.
Notes: Sorry it took so long to get out. tenipuri_fusion is at complete and utter fault… it’s been distracting me. But chapters should pick up again now we’ve gotten the starting stuff out of the way. Go take a peek!
Thanks for all the reviews and hope you like the chapter!
When the moment finally broke, Fuji found himself glad to be standing against the wall. It provided that necessary support that his moment of weakness needed. He smiled, if a little warily, picked up his sushi plate and made to leave the room, calling over his shoulder. “Living room is more comfortable.”
Wracking his brain as Tezuka followed him, Fuji tried to remember if the other boy had ever been in the living room before. He had to conclude that apart from his own bedroom, bathroom, the patio and the kitchen, Tezuka had never seen the rest of the house.
Flicking on the television Fuji settle himself on the couch, drawing his knees up close and nibbling on his sushi. He looked up to find Tezuka’s eyes scanning the room with a curiosity that was barely visible, yet still there. His gaze rested in one area for a few minutes before Fuji had to see what the taller boy was looking at, and reluctantly let his eyes follow those of Tezuka’s.
The piano. Off in the corner of the room sat a baby grand, its smooth black surface reflecting the lights playing on the television screen in a warped fashion. Fuji sighed, bringing his eyes to focus on the television once more.
He knew Tezuka was looking at him, but he tried to ignore his friend. Finally, Tezuka sat himself down on the other end of the couch, ate his own sushi in silence, and Fuji finally felt as if he could relax.
“You play?” Tezuka’s voice was soft, almost reproachful, as if he resented the fact that Fuji had never told him or showed him that he played. They’d been friends for a fairly long time, and close friends for a while. It was something the captain obviously felt that he should have known.
Fuji set his plate down on the coffee table, suddenly not very hungry anymore. Pinching the bridge of his nose, he took a deep breath. All the energy he’d had seemed to leak out of him rapidly, and he just didn’t have the energy to hide anything right then. “You could say that…”
“Either you can or you can’t, Fuji.” Tezuka’s tone was annoyed and the prodigy realised that he might be pushing just a little too far.
“I play…” But that was all he was going to say, and he leaned over to grab the remote control, switching the television channel.
Tezuka, it seemed, knew when to leave well enough alone. Yet there was still something that was bugging Fuji about it. He actually felt slightly guilty that he’d never told Tezuka. Hell, he’d never told anyone, so what difference should it make? It made him feel melancholy.
“Inui’s juices…you enjoy them?” Tezuka’s eyes never left the TV screen, the comment spoken soft and reassuring in a way that Fuji needed.
He nodded emphatically. “They’re really good…honest!” His eyes twinkled a little, one of his favourite jokes coming to the forefront. “You should try them more often.”
“I don’t like losing.”
Fuji blinked before answering. “I know.” It came out softer than he intended, and yet… somehow wistful. Tezuka didn’t like losing at anything, which also meant that the other boy wasn’t about to give up on the questions. Fuji could only really hope to stall until he felt a little more comfortable. Sometimes he really wondered whether or not Tezuka actually understood anything.
The movie was quite funny, and still Fuji couldn’t bring himself to laugh. Too many thoughts wound their way through his head, and he was quite happy that he didn’t have to keep the smile in place… he didn’t think he could have right then.
His thoughts turned to the upcoming tournament. Even taking all the other schools into account, it did seem that Seigaku would be facing St. Rudolph in the best eight match. Which meant, Seigaku would face Yuuta’s school. That was where the trouble started. Fuji wasn’t exactly worried, because it wasn’t precisely something for him to worry about. He knew that his own school’s abilities far outstripped those of his brother’s. But that wasn’t the problem.
The problem was, how Yuuta was going to react to him… yet again. It was a problem that Fuji tried again and again to understand, and failed miserably at doing so each time. If Yuuta was happy, then so be it, but why did the older brother always get the feeling that his sibling wasn’t happy?
“When we play that match, you won’t play reserve.” Tezuka’s eyes were still focused on the screen. The now empty plate sat on the table in front of him.
Fuji blinked, torn out of his own musings, wondering how Tezuka could manage to be so accurate so much of the time. But then… he guessed it was a two way street after all. “No, I won’t.” And that was the honest answer, because it was true. As much as Fuji might wish that things were different between his brother and himself, he couldn’t stop being who he was. That was what it came down to.
The prodigy smiled, and grinned at Tezuka, watching that face. He studied the profile of his friend, while the pictures from the movie reflected in those far too sensible glasses. The fact that Tezuka refused to tear his gaze away from the television didn’t deter Fuji in the slightest. Cerulean eyes swept every inch of the boy on the other end of the couch, smile genuine and mischievous.
There was a slight tension to Tezuka’s shoulders, and they sagged slightly in something akin to defeat before he spoke. “What?”
“Inui was right,” Fuji didn’t stop at the warning look he got from his friend. “You’re too serious.” He leaned over and poked the other’s arm lightly. “Far too serious. Sometimes you just need to loosen up and have some fun. You need to let yourself feel.” He was still smiling, feeling somehow greatly relaxed, which, sadly, didn’t last for too long.
“You should take your own advice.”
Those brown eyes warned Fuji again, pushing him to keep a distance that the prodigy no longer found amusing, and no longer wanted to keep. If Tezuka wanted him to keep his distance, it was high time the captain stopped trying to worm his way into Fuji’s thoughts.
Something snapped inside, and Fuji made the conscious decision to stop letting Tezuka be in control. Because although it could feel amazing to have someone who understood you, Fuji was starting to get annoyed at the lack of accommodation on his friend’s behalf. Swivelling his legs around so he sat on his knees, Fuji leaned forward a little and reached out, taking Tezuka’s glasses off.
The scowl he received did nothing to deter him, and Fuji folded them calmly, placing them on the coffee table before returning his attention to the other boy. With one hand he silenced Tezuka’s lips, knowing that the other boy would want to speak. “Shush…” Fuji shook his head, smiling at the almost petulant look on the taller boy’s face. “Your turn…” He whispered the last, looking Tezuka directly in the eyes, letting his breath wash over the other boy in a light breeze, before pulling back slightly.
He wasn’t used to showing himself, and he wasn’t sure if he was getting the right mix of what he wanted to get across to come across. It was so damn confusing, but he wanted, needed to give Tezuka back some of what he’d been receiving from the older boy.
When he spoke, his voice was soft and slightly hesitant. “I don’t want this either.” He gestured to the closed off look on Tezuka’s face, hoping to let the other boy understand. “You don’t let out what’s inside… you won’t let me see.” He took a deep breath finding Tezuka’s gaze penetratingly intense. “How can we grow if the pot refuses to be changed…?”
Those brown eyes blinked, slight surprise registering in them. Tezuka’s mouth opened as if to speak, but Fuji held a finger against his lips once again. “Just listen…” With delicate fingers, he brushed hair out of Tezuka’s eyes, before applying fingertips softly to the eyelids, forcing his friend to close them.
He stood, looking down at his friend, hoping that he’d understand and know just what it was Fuji was trying to say. “Just… listen.”
The prodigy made his way over to the piano, seating himself gingerly at it, fingers running lovingly over the keys without applying enough pressure to bring forth a sound. He was nervous… a feeling he’d had but one or two times before in his life. Then again, he was about to do something he’d rarely done for anyone. He was about to play the way he only ever played when he was alone.
Fingers caressed the keys with reverence, and he murmured before closing his eyes. “This is the way I can feel…” With those words he tentatively offered his friend a way to feel without being seen, a way to feel with him.
The first strains were gentle, slow, building, a constant presence into which the melodic phrasings of the melody cascaded softly. Fuji lost himself to the feel that was Moonlight Sonata, letting it rip him along with it. Counterpoints tugged at him, reminding him of everything that set him apart from others, and how he resented that. Crescendo’s poured out his frustration, the methodical and yet beautiful use of fingering something able to contain the despair he could feel.
Deliberate strokes, slowing, reneging…becoming soft once more. Hope and a little smile entering his fingers. Higher tones that became stronger, as he so often wished he could himself, died away partially, becoming a discord of confusion. Its ability to sooth slowly worked at the knots inside him, firming his resolve as lowest notes meshed with higher crescendos…all in all giving him the peace he sought as the last notes faded.
He felt out of breath, drained. It always did that to him when he played for himself, for everything that he couldn’t bring himself to let out around other people. Opening his eyes, he saw Tezuka still sitting on the couch; eyes now open, just looking at Fuji, what appeared to be one lone tear streaking down his cheek.
Fuji blushed, and smiled, trying to cover the moment. “I didn’t think I was that bad.” He chuckled softly, gesturing to the tear.
The voice that answered him was amazingly terse, almost angry. “Don’t you dare belittle that, Fuji. That…you…” The usually composed captain stood up and walked over to the piano. “That… was a gift.”
They both knew he wasn’t just talking about the Fuji’s obvious ability, there was much more to it. Fuji sighed, looking up at his friend. “Thank you.” For accepting what he was offering and not throwing it back in his face. But those, yet again, were words that Fuji didn’t need to speak.
Suddenly he found it hard to keep his eyes open. “I’m tired.”
Tezuka nodded, and walked over to fetch his glasses off the table, before following Fuji upstairs. When they got there, the prodigy flipped back the cover on his bed and turned to face Tezuka. “Sleep well…”
But a hand stayed his arm, brown eyes focusing on cerulean. “I don’t like putting you out of your bed.”
Fuji’s jaw set, ready to become stubborn. “The guest bed is hard, I won’t let you sleep there.”
“Fine.” Tezuka’s jaw was equally as firm. “Sleep here.”
Eyes widened a little in surprise, but Fuji recovered quickly. “It’s not as big as your bed.”
“It’s not that much smaller.”
Fuji couldn’t deny that Tezuka did have a point. Shoulders slumped a little in defeat and he brushed past the other boy and climbed into the bed, back against the wall. “Fine. But when you kick me, don’t blame me if I push you out.”
Tezuka laughed. “That’s not going to happen.” He settled himself on the other side of the bed. Neither of them seemed to mind the tight squeeze, after all, it wasn’t that much different than sleeping at Tezuka’s.
A soft voice spoke into the stillness. “Growing season isn’t over yet. I’ll try harder to get used to the pot, Fuji.”
Settling on his side, Fuji smiled sleepily at the other boy. “I know…” He suppressed a yawn. “Sleep well…”
It was warm and it was comfortable, and they fell asleep quickly. Neither of them woke, even when the taller boy’s arm snaked its way around Fuji as the tawny haired boy’s head came to rest on Tezuka’s chest.
Sorry it’s a little shorter this time…
Hoe you enjoyed it! Feedback appreciated!