schweinsty (schweinsty) wrote in ficcy_fic,
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schweinsty
ficcy_fic

Fifteen Birthdays

Title: Fifteen Birthdays
Fandom: PoT
Pairings: TezuFuji, implied SanaYuki and a couple others if you squint
Rating: PG-PG13, I guess. Nothing offensive. 
Wordcount: 2460
Disclaimer: I own neither Prince of Tennis nor the characters therein.

Fifteen Birthdays

 

15

“Thank you for calling, Fuji.”

“Saa, Tezuka, it’s your birthday; the least I could do was call, after customs didn’t let me ship you the cacti I bought.”

 

16

“You really should come visit soon.”

“That would be nice.”

“The Black Forest is very beautiful in the fall. You could bring your camera when we go hiking.”

“Tezuka, are you trying to lure me to Germany?”

“Yes.”

“Maybe I can take you a cactus for your next birthday.”

 

17

“We should have done this sooner.”

“Aa.”

“You can see the stars perfectly from out here, you know.”

“Aa.”

“It was nice seeing you again, Tezuka. It’s not the same over the phone.”

“It was nice having you.”

“So it was a good birthday, then?”

“Aa – but you forgot to bring me a cactus.”

“Then you’ll just have to visit me to get it, won’t you?”

“Aa.”

 

18

“It’s a nice cactus. I like the flowers.”

“I thought the lilac would go well in your dorm room. Although I could get one to match the school colors, if you’d like.”

“That’s hardly subtle, Fuji.”

“You’ve hardly been forthcoming, Tezuka.”

“I didn’t want to say anything in case it did not work out.”

“Well?”

“Karber-san referred me to several trainers, but in particular to Sagara Aoi.”

“Sagara Aoi – Sagara Miyako’s husband?”

“Yes.”

“Sagara Miyako, my trainer.”

“Yes.”

“So University of Tokyo, then?”

School of Humanities.”

“Will your parents still be moving to Malaysia, or-”

“My father has decided to delay transferring for at least a year.”

“The cactus will go well with your room, then.”

“Yes. Yes, it will.”

 

19

“It was a good party. Very nice of Eiji to throw it.”

“Except, Tezuka, that you don’t like birthday parties.”

“But it was nice to see everyone.”

“Yes, it was…. It was different, though, than what I’d expected.”

“We couldn’t stay junior high friends forever. And once we didn’t have tennis as our common denominator, we were bound to grow apart.”

“Saa, I suppose so. I just didn’t think they would… they didn’t turn out as I had thought they would, I suppose.”

“Hmm. I never thought Kaidoh would be the first to get engaged. And to Inui’s cousin – it seems odd.”

“They’ll suit each other perfectly; they will have many quiet, painfully shy children, and no doubt Inui will soon after publish a brilliant study on the predatory behavior of infants. He’ll probably win dozens of prizes and more research grants than he needs.”

“Where was he working now? Sony or-”

“Yes, they hired him to head a new robotics department. They recruited him from high school, right after the-”

“The National Youth Engineering Challenge?”

“He and Yanagi’s entry got them job offers from a dozen companies.”

“Well, that’s hardly surprising.”

“Ah. Even when everyone else changes, Inui, at least, remains a constant. Neh, Tezuka?”

“Aa.”

“Red light, Tezuka.”

“Sorry. I was just thinking – it always seemed as if… Inui and Kaidoh…”

“Mmm. I don’t think Kaidoh ever realized what he could have, and Inui – Inui was too comfortable with Kaidoh as his kouhai to say anything.”

“That was unfortunate for him.”

“But if he had said something at the wrong time, he might have lost his best friend and gained nothing.”

“Yes. It would not be like Inui to take such a calculated risk. But I wouldn’t have expected you to be the one defending too much caution, Fuji.”

“Even the most adventurous can hesitate before risking so much. Sometimes, I think, you get so used to the comfort of companionship that to jeopardize that for the slight possibility of something more can be…”

“Daunting?”

“Mmm. And if Inui had said something… he and Kaidoh might still have ended up at the same place, or worse.”

“Aa. But – I think, if I were in Kaidoh’s place… it would be nice to explore the possibility.”

“Saa, I suppose so… The light’s green, Tezuka.”

 

20

“Thank you. The pasta was delicious.”

“It’s one of Yuuta’s recipes. His girlfriend finally opened the restaurant, so every time they have a new recipe they use me as a guinea pig.”

“How does Yuuta like Switzerland?”

“I think he’s finally found a home. He and Maria are talking about a wedding, and he has really improved since he found his new trainer. In fact- oh, do you want wasabi with it?”

“No, thank you.”

“In fact, he beat Ladislaw Krazinszcky in a friendly match two weeks ago.”

“Ladislaw Krazinszcky – the one who beat you at Wimbledon?”

“Mmm. Quite prodigious of my little brother, don’t you think?”

“He’ll probably want to have a match with you next time he visits, then. I think he’s very- Fuji, you have your own plate.”

“But yours tastes better.”

“Perhaps because it does not have wasabi on it? Here – you can have that.”

“That’s not very romantic of you, Kunimitsu-kun.”

Fuji…”

“Tezuka – it’s been a year already.”

“Aa.”

“The apartment is mine, you know; no one’s going to bother us.”

“…Fuji, you don’t have to-”

“I want to, Tezuka.”

“Well…. It is getting rather late to go home.”

“And you haven’t even started on dessert.”

“I suppose I have no choice, then…. Thank you, Fuji.”

 

21

“I think it looked better on top of the desk.”

“Too ostentatious, Fuji.”

“But it just looks lost on the bookshelf.”

“On the shelf in my bedroom, then?”

“You could always buy a display case and put it in your entrance hall like Atobe did.”

Fuji.”

“It was just a suggestion.”

“On top of the bookcase will be fine, Fuji.”

“It’s your trophy, Tezuka.”

“You’re hardly being helpful.”

“Tezuka, you’re hardly helpless. Hmmm, I wonder where Yukimura’s putting his. His bride’s not exactly the type to hide these things on top of a bookcase.”

“I’m not hiding it; I’m just not attempting to blind my visitors with it. And Yukimura’s hardly the type to be browbeaten into anything.”

“Mmm. I wonder, Tezuka… if your parents had arranged a marriage for you, would you have accepted?”

“Our situations are completely different. Yukimura’s always been expected to marry well, just like Atobe and Oshitari and all the ones who were born rich. It’s more of a business transaction than anything.”

“But what if your parents had wanted you to, Tezuka?”

“But they didn’t.”

“But if they had…”

“But they didn’t.”

“But if they had, would you-“

“I don’t need a wife, Fuji. I have you, don’t I?”

“…Saa, I suppose so.”

 

22

“I can’t believe he’s so tall now.”

“Aa. Remember when he couldn’t reach his locker?”

“He, at least, seems to have outgrown that.”

“Mmm. But still… I would rather have someone your height, Syuusuke.”

“Then in that case, I am glad for Echizen. Although when he was playing Sanada it looked as if they were twins.”

“That’s what Eiji said.”

“Oh, that reminds me – Oishi called this morning. They have a layover here tonight and wanted to have supper with us.”

“Are they stopping in Hokkaido, then?”

“No, Oishi wants to get to the hospital as soon as possible. He says if there’s a civil war, he wants to be ready.”

“It’s so dangerous over there, though. I’ve heard the rebels have started abducting the foreign relief workers and holding them for ransom.”

“Mmm. I think it’s better this way, though, even with the civil unrest. Oishi always needs to be doing something, and after Eiji’s injury… I’m glad they found something they could do together.”

“Aa. I suppose once you’ve won a grand slam, training the next generation wouldn’t seem so wonderful. It was good of OIshi’s uncle to get them into the training program there.”

“Mmm. Neh, Tezuka – want to stop at Taka-san’s for lunch?”

“I thought you wanted to go to the French place.”

“Saa, saa – where else would I get wasabi sushi?”

 

23

“A dog?”

“I thought Marilyn could use the company.”

“Marilyn is a goldfish, Fuji.”

“Exactly!”

“…Syuusuke…”

“I knew you’d like him.”

“Isn’t he from Yukimura’s litter?”

“He said it was too much trouble keeping track of six puppies and a baby. Almost begged me to take him. I named him Walter.”

“Walter?”

“I thought it went well with Marilyn.”

“But Marilyn is a goldfish.”

“Yes, Tezuka. I believe that has been established. He is a good birthday present, no?”

Fuji, he’s chewing on my shoe.”

“So, obviously, he loves you.”

Fuji-

“I’m going to go get some herbal tea! I’ll be back in time for training.”
Fuji, don’t-”

“Don’t forget to feed him!”

“…Honestly.”

 

24

“And this is what comes of playing on the street courts in the middle of a thunderstorm.”

“Go away.”

“A bit grumpy this morning, neh, Tezuka? But I suppose I would be too, if I had to miss practice because of a silly cold like-”

“You were the one who suggested the match.”

“But you were the one who listened to me. But you are right – is there anything I can do to make it up?”

Fuji, I – Fuji, stop that. I’ll give you all my ger-mmph.”

“Well, if you insist, Kunimitsu.”

Fuji…”

“Saa, Tezuka, you’re looking very flushed. Perhaps you should go to the hospital.”

“Sadist.”

“Get well soon, Tezuka – I’ve got a very good present for you.”

 

25

“So how is he?”

“He seemed better; the cancer is still in remission, and the prognosis is good. He said you should have come.”

“I’ll go tomorrow; Miyako-chan wanted to go over strategies for my next match with Sanada.”

“He said he was looking forward to it.”

“I take it he was at the hospital, then?”

“Yes, he was watching Sousuke and Yuki for the day.”

“He treats them like his own, doesn’t he?”

“Aa. They’re lucky to have him. It must be difficult for Ayano-san, though – especially now with Yukimura ill.”

“She knew what she was getting into when she married him, Tezuka. Everybody did.”

“Aa. But it’s still unfortunate.”

 

26

“It was a good game, Fuji. Krazinszcky might have won even if I hadn’t sprained my ankle.”

“I know.”

“My shoulder’s been off lately, and Krazinszcky knew it and didn’t exploit it.”

“I know.”

“So there’s no need to humiliate him by-”

“I know.”

“You’re still going to try the new counter on him, aren’t you?”

“Perhaps.”

Fuji, even I can’t block that one, and I’ve been working on it for months.”

“Exactly.”

“It’s just a friendly match, Fuji.”

“He’s welcome to try and win it.”

Fuji…”

“Consider it a birthday present.”

 

27

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen Momo so happy.”

“Well, it is his firstborn. She looks just like her mother, doesn’t she?”

“Mmm.”

“It’s a nice day out, isn’t it?”

“Tezuka – do you ever regret it?”

“Beg pardon?”

“Do you ever regret it – that you won’t have any children.”
”I-”

“Because I think, sometimes… it might have been nice. When we were younger, Nee-san would always talk about what my children would be like, and now she and Yuuta – everyone – they’re all so happy with their families, and we’re…I just always wondered.”

“Well… it’s not impossible, you know.”

“Tezuka…”

“It’s getting easier to adopt every year, Fuji, even if you’re not married… traditionally.”

“Tezuka, I was just- I wasn’t saying we should-”

“It’s just something to think about, Fuji. For the future. In ten years we’ll be too old for tennis, and we’ll have all the time in the world to think about it.”

“All the time in the world? I like the sound of that.”

 

28

“It’s not a very good way to spend a birthday, is it?”

“It’s not a good day to spend any day, Fuji.”

“Mmm.”

“It’s just – he seemed fine the last time we had a match. He said he was going to come back and beat me in a few weeks. And instead…”

“There was always the danger of a relapse. And by the time they found it… it was just too much. It’s – there aren’t really many others like him, are there?”

“No. And there won’t be, not again.”

“I heard Ayano doesn’t want the children back.”

“But she-”

“She didn’t even come back for the funeral, Tezuka, and the adoption was already finalized.”

“Well… at least he has them, now, to care for.”

“Mmm. Did you see him today? His hands were shaking.”

“Aa. Sixteen years since they were captain and vice, but he never stopped looking out for him.”

 

29

“So will it be Germany, or did you want to try Minsk again?”

“I think… I think it’s time to go home, Fuji.”

“But your shoulder – they can treat it, Tezuka. It’s not worse off than the first time you hurt it. You’ll be back in the game in a year, and-”

“I’m already past my peak, Fuji. A year without real practice – even half a year – would put me out of the running entirely, and by the time I did enough training to catch up… I’d be lucky if I made it past the first round at the Opens.”

“But you’re not-”

“I’m too old, Fuji. These new kids – they’re ten, twelve years younger than me, and the things they’re doing… It’s their game now. Even with all of this – I’ll never win another title again, and while we’re wasting all this time here, you’re neglecting your own training.”

“So that’s it, then?”

“Aa. Well – Dr. Ishida’s therapy should get it back to normal, just in a bit more time. I’ll still be good for you to practice with, at least. And I can just focus on the training center full time – Niouh could certainly use the help.”

“With the training center?”

“I’ve been thinking of opening another one – in Kyuushuu; Niouh’s girlfriend is studying there, so he wouldn’t mind the move. And then I’d take over the Tokyo center. And then, maybe, in a year or two, when we get things stabilized… Maybe, like we’ve talked about – we would have enough time for a family.”

“Tezuka the father? It would take some time to get used to…”

“Your tennis and the center will keep us busy until we’re ready, easily.”

“So Japan, then?”

“Aa.”

“You’re sure you’re ready to give it up?”

“…I don’t think I’d ever be ready, Fuji, but… It was a good run, and I’m satisfied.

“Eight titles and a career grand slam isn’t bad, I suppose.”

“Not bad at all.”

“Saa then… I’ll go book the tickets.”

“You don’t want to stay for a while? You’ve only photographed a quarter of the tourist attractions.”

“No, we’d better go before Sagara-kun feeds Walter and Marilyn III to death. And Nee-san and your parents will be angry if we don’t break the news to them personally.”

“That’s true.”

“Well then – to the rest of our lives together, Tezuka. We’ve got a lot to do.”
Tags: character: fuji syuusuke, character: tezuka kunimitsu, fandom: prince of tennis, genre: slash
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