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Smile :) :) :)

Title: Smile: Envelop Me
Author: Arithion
Rating: G
Genre: Angstish, bit of drama… um… yeah
Pairing: Kinda sorta almost TezxFuji
Chapter: Fourteen
Summary: What’s behind a smile…?
Warning: Bit of angst, um bit of cuteness… more analogies… yeah hehehe… covers episodes 24 - 27
Dedicated: yuki_scorpio … she knows why… and she knows what happens if she defaults on her end of the deal *evil grin* and to lina_lau for her wonderful drawings

Envelop Me

Lights dimmed, Fuji stood with his hands on his hips, watching the rolls of negatives drip dry from where they were hung. Granted, he could have used the more modern dryer… but there was just something about doing things the old fashioned way that appealed to him. Tezuka stood off to the left a little, watching the same reels dry, a slight frown on his face.

Syusuke laughed. “It’s not that bad, you know.”

“I didn’t think it was.” Tezuka’s voice was soft, and Fuji was fairly certain his friend was thinking about things that had nothing to do with photography.

With a slight sigh he moved closer to look at the negatives, determined them dry and decided to pick the larger ones – his pictures – first. There were still a few things Fuji wanted to… make a point of, and this was the only way he could think of to get Tezuka to understand. Visual aids could work wonders, after all.

Fuji motioned for Tezuka to come join him he was about to speak when Tezuka spoke first. “I always thought negatives came after the photo…” There was mild curiosity in that voice.

Syusuke chuckled. “No. Without the negative, I can’t print the pictures. I have nothing from which to define what I’ve taken.”

Tezuka’s next words were murmured so softly that Fuji might have thought he didn’t hear them. “Mmm foundations to build upon…”

Fuji just smiled and simply cropped the negative he wanted to use the most. Bypassing the more modern machine in which he could easily dispose of the negative and let it take over, Fuji made his way to an older set up, vaguely aware of Tezuka following him. The prodigy smiled, fingering the negative delicately, making sure not to smudge it in any way.

He kept up a murmur of running narrative as he prepared to print the picture, and couldn’t help thinking that he’d chosen it well for the purpose he intended it for. “A lot of photo studios use machines these days, but I can never seem to get the same sense of satisfaction out of them. I like to feel what I’m doing, to touch it… see what could and couldn’t be, all the possibilities at once.” They open like the paths you’re disinclined to chose, and yet offer you the whisper of so many forgotten promises, he thought, but didn’t add.

Fuji could feel Tezuka come to rest behind him, watching what he was doing, and instead of feeling annoyed or agitated like he would if it were anyone else, he simply felt comfortable. So it was easy for him to continue, because he didn’t need Tezuka to speak, or answer, or ask questions to know that the other boy was listening.

“You need to see what you’re doing.” The negative was slipped onto the slide and masked appropriately. Fuji then fished for some of the paper he needed, and put the light sensitive material on the tray. “Need to make sure the focus is right, the filters, if you use any, are correct, and that overall, you’re going to get the moment that you captured and not just some cheap imitation of it. Because that’s what the machines do… they have no…sense…” He bent over and began to focus, check, focus, and attach the filters that he felt were necessary, although he didn’t want much for this one… this one would be better as natural as possible.

The necessary checking out of the way, Fuji made a noise like satisfaction under his breath. He switched on the printers light and began to watch the paper carefully… narrating his actions with a soft, slightly distracted voice. “Now we print, but you can’t just let it print. That would be pointless. This won’t be the final… draft.” He almost chuckled at the last, finding it strangely appropriate. Tezuka shifted a little behind him and Fuji bent to his task.

Syusuke started by exposing parts of the paper, two inches at a time. “You need to make sure you capture what you want in its best possible light. This looks a little different, but it’s easier to judge what degree of exposure would be best for your subject.” Slowly Fuji pulled the paper through, every ten seconds, pulling the mask back a little at a time so that he had strips of paper with varying degrees of exposure. He took a step back when finished and shivered slightly, feeling the brush of air along the back of his head that told him Tezuka was standing closer than he thought.

Moving a bit he then fixed and rinsed the picture, and set it to the side before starting on another run through. He repeated the process another five times, adjusting the filters, and the exposure along with them. When he finished rinsing the last one he moved to let a little more light on the situation. He wouldn’t be able to see what exposure was right if he didn’t do that. Tezuka moved over to the pictures, looking at them, that slight frown still on his face. When Fuji returned the taller boy asked simply. “Why?”

Fuji’s face softened a little. “See how the strips highlight your face differently? How they highlight your hair and the very tension that surrounds you?”

Tezuka’s only answer was a partially confused nod.

“And you see how some of the filters add a softness to the atmosphere and others are harsher?”

Again a nod, but less confused.

“So you can see how much more there can be to this than just a machine that you press a button on, ne, Tezuka?” There was a soft smile in Fuji’s voice as he pushed his friend to understand what he was saying… what he was trying to show him.

“Yes…” Tezuka’s voice seemed hesitant, knowing, but not quite believing yet.

So Fuji pushed that little bit more. “Tell me, Tezuka, which light do you think you look best in?”

His friend blinked at him, a raw look passing over his face so briefly that had Fuji not been intent on watching, he would have missed it. In that look he saw the person that Tezuka kept hidden, the person that he’d been sure was under there all along. That vulnerable side that no one ever got close enough to see, because the older boy hid it so damn well. The fact that Tezuka, despite outward appearances, was still a child with a child’s hopes, dreams… and uncertainties.

In that brief instant Tezuka let Fuji in, finally, fully, and the prodigy smiled a true smile… and waited, just waited for the answer his friend would give.

A hand reached out, briefly brushing the hair out of Fuji’s eyes in a gesture that spoke of trust. “This one… “ Brown eyes locked momentarily with Fuji’s. “Because… it… finds me.”

That was all he needed to say, he knew it and Fuji knew it. As Fuji dimmed the light, and retrieved another sheet of paper, the silence was pleasurable, easy… and welcomed.

When Fuji developed the picture…it showed the strength, the vulnerability, the determination, the confusion, the charisma, the concentration, the pain and the discipline that it took to be who Tezuka Kunimitsu was. In short… he’d captured the moment he wanted for as close to an eternity as was possible.

And Fuji wasn’t about to give it up.


Fuji was glad of the Sunday, because for some reason Tezuka seemed a lot more relaxed after it. He was also glad for it because that following week, his friend decided to keep something from him and the prodigy wasn’t used to it. It was quite easy to notice when the taller boy was thinking about something.

And then of course, Tezuka seemed distracted that morning when they got ready for school. His voice was distant when he spoke. “I can’t come over tonight. I have plans.”

Fuji blinked and smiled. “Well, I’ll let you off just this once.”

Tezuka only seemed to half acknowledge Fuji’s flippant answer and shrugged with a slight grunt as he shouldered his school bag and headed towards the door. Fuji almost frowned, hurrying his steps to catch up with his taller friend. There was something wrong, but for the life of him, Fuji couldn’t figure out what. And when Tezuka was disinclined to tell you something, he didn’t tell you.

It felt strange when Tezuka didn’t appear to the practice that afternoon as well, and Fuji’s eyes narrowed when it appeared that Echizen and Oishi weren’t there either. All sick? That was just strange, and besides, Fuji knew for a fact that Tezuka wasn’t sick in the slightest.

He didn’t let it worry him; at least he thought he didn’t. Tezuka was able to look after himself after all, and wouldn’t appreciate Fuji thinking that he couldn’t. And that wasn’t it anyway. The thing that was slowly gnawing at him was the fact that there was obviously something that Tezuka didn’t think he could share with Fuji.

Not even his music and rocking chair could put the thoughts out of Fuji’s mind. He ran through the possibilities. That Tezuka had an injury, he knew. That his friend was slowly recovering and should be okay for the up and coming tournaments was something he also knew. He also knew that Tezuka had been watching Echizen closely.

Fuji opened his eyes and blinked, ignoring the fact that his stomach ran cold at that thought for some reason. He let himself remember that it was their last year of junior high. Knowing Tezuka he would be thinking about that. It made Fuji smile, because he couldn’t help but be fairly sure, somehow, that he knew what Tezuka was doing. And suddenly he didn’t feel as bad as he had before.

The next day saw Tezuka and Echizen missing training once more, but Fuji no longer worried about it. Tezuka would come over when he was ready to again, and not a moment before, so it was useless to dwell. Fuji simply refused to admit that he might miss his friend…well maybe a little.

The next day was a little strange. It seemed that Echizen’s cat had followed him to school. The boy was beside himself and had headed back home to search for it, when Momo caught it in the clubroom. Fuji found it highly amusing, and would perhaps have laughed a little more, had he not been so aware of the fact that Tezuka seemed to be ignoring him, even though they walked side by side.

It chafed a little, and so, as they were all walking home and Fuji’s sister offered him a ride home, he gladly accepted it … and tried not to laugh at the look on Momo’s face when the boy saw Yumiko. So he said goodbye to his friends and climbed in the car.

“Syusuke, you’re quiet.” Yumiko sounded concerned.

“No… I’m just thinking.”

Yumiko stopped the car in their driveway and looked at him for a few seconds. “So is he…” And with that cryptic comment that Fuji could make far too much sense of, she got out of the car.

He wished he could damn her insightfulness some of the time. Getting out of the car he slung his bag over his shoulder and walked into the house, not bothering to smile in the process. To be honest, he couldn’t really be bothered right then… he began to think that he’d pushed his friend a little too far on Sunday and that Tezuka was now regretting the knowledge that Fuji had the insight into him that he did.

Chiding himself as climbed the stairs, Fuji decided to jump to conclusions when he had some information other than just supposition. Suddenly he felt the urge to play, to get out some of his frustration in a way he understood. He changed quickly and headed back down stairs, pulling a loose crème jumper over his head, and almost collided with his sister.

“Oh,” he smiled at her. “You going out?”

She nodded. “I just had a call.” Slipping on her shoes she looked up at him and smiled too. “Don’t stay up too late!” And in a swirl of her usual vibrancy, she was gone.

Fuji sighed, and decided to go punish the piano keys. It was an easy way for him to think, to sort through thoughts, and feelings and things that he generally didn’t like to think he possessed… the things he generally liked to ignore. Fingers cascaded lovingly over the keys, in a way he couldn’t when he thought someone might see him. The hearing was never a problem, just the seeing.

Fingers flowed gently as he played, but then felt the need to be less gentle, felt the need for turbulence… to vent, to be, and just to let go. His piano wasn’t an organ, but he’d long ago adapted Bach’s little fugues in G-minor to suit that instrument. It was the speed he needed, to wrest his concentration away from things that were confusing him, and to place it with the music, making him become a part of it.

As always it took a few minutes for him to come back to himself when he finished that piece, his breathing even sped up. When his awareness returned properly, he realised there was someone knocking on the door. Standing up he made his way to the entrance hall to open the door, half expecting and half hoping who would be there.

Tezuka stood on the step, bag slung over his shoulder, eyes focused on Fuji from behind sun-glinted glasses. “The prefecturals are tomorrow.”

Fuji nodded, a small smile gracing his face. “I know.”

The taller boys eyes flicked to the ground once, before looking back at Fuji with determination. “I… had…”

With a slight chuckle, Fuji stepped aside to let the other boy inside. Tezuka seemed almost grateful not to have to finish what he’d been about to say. “Sometimes you just need to, Tezuka.” Fuji didn’t need to add that he understood… because they both knew it.

Tezuka smiled, a slight smirk almost. “Even on a road trip?”

Fuji laughed, as they headed into the kitchen, feeling fully at ease once again. “Maybe, especially then…”


Okay well yes… there you go. I didn’t go into as much detail with this part of the photography as I could have, but there was only really one point I wanted to get across hehe

Hope you enjoyed it. Feedback is really appreciated!

Oh and yeah.. envelop me came from me wanting to call it develop me... and the latter made even less sense... so nyah



( 24 raindrops — Make it rain )
Apr. 14th, 2004 12:06 pm (UTC)
You showed Tezuka's vulnerability so well in just so few words! So glad to see him finally opening up to the other boy ^^

You know what I'm going to say:
A hand reached out, briefly brushing the hair out of Fuji’s in a gesture that spoke of trust.

They really should be kissing after that =P
Apr. 14th, 2004 10:19 pm (UTC)
Yeah well... you should know that best... Tez is a little DENSE!

And WAIT gah... if you guys keep pushign I'm just gonna make them have a huge fight and they'll never freaking kiss!

Sheeeeeeeeesh, talk about hurrying the creative genius process
Apr. 15th, 2004 04:23 am (UTC)
Tez is a little DENSE!

Yeah I know... he's dense in an annoying yet endearing sort of way. XD

*L* Aw come on! I wrote that before we started last night's RP! I was as frustrated as them.
Apr. 14th, 2004 12:12 pm (UTC)
*luffles Arith for writing such good stuff to feed off* Great chapter, as usual! Love the developing process and all the different levels that the fic has. ^_^ I love your Fuji so much! XD

And yay for the return of the piano! *huggles*
Apr. 14th, 2004 10:20 pm (UTC)
hehe *hugs*
I love my Fuji too, glad to see I'm not the only one :)

And the return of the piano was your fault... that baby grand was just looking at me goin: come on, arith. You know you want to...
Apr. 14th, 2004 02:45 pm (UTC)
*agrees with yuki_scorpio* But I feel... excited that they didn't. Because, if they would... where would be the fun? ^^; Yes, I'm slightly masochistic in a way.

Plus... I so damn want to write fanfiction for this, so damn much, it kinda hurts. But I know WHAT I want to write isn't really what might be liked in the fandom... *sighs* Don't even bother to think about that. It doesn't make any sense. ^^;
Apr. 14th, 2004 10:22 pm (UTC)
*nods* Well the kiss isnt coming for a while, IF I decide to let it come at all, considering EVERYONE keeps asking for it *evil gleam to eye*

Bah... write what you want to write. You shouldnt be writing for other people anyhu, you should write for yourself because you have something you want to write. Soooo... off you go... *push*
Apr. 14th, 2004 03:46 pm (UTC)
*Sigh* Beautiful as always. I love the fact that you put so much detail in your writing, especially the part when they're developing the pictures. Some people either gloss over it or make it up. Ah, you've made me want to find my manual camera and use it again =).
Oh and I definitely agree with yuki_scorpio. *nods head* They should've kissed there, but you enjoy torturing us. It keeps us coming back for more ;). Please continue to write more.
Apr. 14th, 2004 10:24 pm (UTC)
*smiles*hugs* Well, Like I said... I Have a thing that when I write, I like at least basic knowledge... because otherwise someone reading it, who has the knowledge could lose a lot of enjoyment... and I don't like that. BEsiddes... it gives me a chance to broaden my horizons lol...

GAH!!! with the kissing *sobs* see my Yuki answer *evil grin* Just wait... pwetty pwease!
Apr. 14th, 2004 05:02 pm (UTC)
Photography and piano? ^_^

Very nice except that the end confused me slightly. ^^;; I'm not as perseptive as Fuji and Tezuka. *wishes*

^^b Keep going. *waves arms* kiss him kiss him! ^^;;
Apr. 14th, 2004 10:26 pm (UTC)
Re: nyah?
ahhh the end bit :) well, THey';re on the road to rome, ne? So kinda on a road trip...
So TEzuka was trying to say that he'd needed some time to himself, and Fuji had responded that sometimes it was just like that
Tezuka asked if that should be true even when they were supposed to be doing this together... to which Fuji replies... probably even more so because of that.

*smiles* better?

And enough with the kiss him already!!! /snickers
Apr. 14th, 2004 10:37 pm (UTC)
Your descriptions make me want to take up photography as a new hobby. lol Yay for Sol, who is there to poke for info, ne?

And Fuji playing the piano again. fwee. I was kinda hoping Tezuka had heard him so they could dance around each other again. >.>

...just got a mental pic of them actually dancing together...

I am glad this one has taken over your brain! Yay for 20 more chapters!

kisskisskiss ^______^
Apr. 14th, 2004 10:43 pm (UTC)
*smacks moffit's plot bunnies*

Yeah it does kinda make you want to take up ohotography. Fuji is evil... now I want to do that... and own cacti GAH

Yeah... my brain is a little crowdd atm. And 20 hmmmm naaaaa but probably another 10 - 15 :)

Apr. 14th, 2004 10:49 pm (UTC)
Picture them dancing in Fuji's living room to soft music, candlelight flickering over Tezuka's cheek as he dips his head to place a chaste kiss on Fuji's lips...
Apr. 15th, 2004 02:58 pm (UTC)
You will burn for your eviliness... *nods* yes you will
Apr. 14th, 2004 10:41 pm (UTC)
Another nice chapter.^_^
I would say more but it's late and I'm kind of sleepy.
Apr. 14th, 2004 10:44 pm (UTC)
*hugs* thanks for reading hon :) And I know what you mean... I have to dash to work!!!
Apr. 15th, 2004 08:45 am (UTC)
...no kiss cos we are asking? *pouts* you are evil.

very pretty description as always ^_^ i heart your tezuka, really i do.
Apr. 15th, 2004 02:59 pm (UTC)
hehe well... maybe no kiss MWUAH HAH HAH

*huggles* thankee!!! And yeah... I love my Tez too hehe... just not as much as Fuji does ;)
Apr. 15th, 2004 02:07 pm (UTC)
Ha~aa.... you're so impressive! Collecting so many informations only for a fic!That's soooo GREAT!! And TezuXFuji is just so cute as well! ^.~
At first I though it would be a one-shot fic concering the fact why Fuji would always smile and I was both suprised and happy when you updated the second chapter. And not only your writing-skills, as your ideas, but also your update-speeds are amazing! Keep going and be proud of this excellent work you're doing which only a few people are capable of, right? ^_______________^
Apr. 15th, 2004 03:01 pm (UTC)
Hehe... I always believe that if something is worth doing, it's worth doing well :) So I make sure I have at least a vague idea what I'm talking about

Yeah well... my inner me still adamantly professes it to be a One Shot...

Oh :) hehe Well um *blush* thank you!!
Apr. 15th, 2004 09:03 pm (UTC)
your analogies are killing me *is stabbed* *___*

but Tezuka finally revealing himself...wow. that's priceless. your description of the whole photo developing scene...makes my hand twitch to steal all those non-existant photos of tezuka; all them prints in all effects... *twitch,twitch*

but! Fuji being understanding and all at the end really, really warmed my heart...they're definitely on that road to Rome, and going strong too... *hugs arith, ficcies, tezuka, fuji...* ^___^

wonder if yuki and you would make tez and fuji make up in the next rp log...cuz it is unsettling to my health that they're in such cold war with each other (ooookay,maybe i exaggerate there XP but, whatever it is,) can't wait for the next log! ^___^
Apr. 16th, 2004 02:31 am (UTC)
killing you? /snicker... try writing the bloody things lol... they like take over and go ooooo here would be a nice place for you to burn away brain cells /snicker

Yeah, makes me want that picture too lol

Well Fuji can be sweet, and he can be nice, and he can be a lot of things... you see that in the series, he's just nothing but enigmatic most of the time
*hugs back*

and um yeah in the next log they have together they probably will... but that's gonna take a while =x

May. 13th, 2004 07:31 am (UTC)
I adore the time you take to research all of your photography and cacti anologies, it makes your Fuji so real.

The fact that Tezuka, despite outward appearances, was still a child with a child’s hopes, dreams… and uncertainties.
I just want to reach out an hug Tezuka. He's still a strong character but you manage to show us that there are cracks in this pillar of support and that he really is just a kid.

I really enjoy how your story fits in and works with the anime timeline. And it just seems to get better with every chapter you write.
( 24 raindrops — Make it rain )