One musten’t catch an Angel

Chapter Four

When Tezuka arrived at home he took of his shoes and dropped the bag, leaving it in the entry hall. Entering his room he threw his jacket on the ground and let himself fall onto his bed trying to cope with what had happened on the court.

“I love you.”

There’s no way you meant that, Syusuke, there can’t! But still…

“I love you.”

Don’t you see that it’s too late? I have to leave for good and starting a relationship within the last two weeks before moving is just going to make things harder.

“I love you.”

“Stop it!”

I didn’t mean to sound that hard, I didn’t want to hurt you. Can’t you see that I can barely stand it myself? It might be easier if you just got mad at me and smiply let go, you know?

“I do regret. – I regret that I never had the courage to really face you.”

So do I, Syusuke.

Tezuka felt his eyes watering. He closed them, but he couldn’t keep this single tear that escaped.

I feel miserable and I deserve it. I hurt the one I care about the most…

He heard a car stopping next to the house. The front door opened.

“What the – Tezuka Kunimitsu!”

It was his mother, no doubt about that.

“I want you right here, and you better hurry.”

Tezuka didn’t move at all. At this moment he couldn’t care less what his mother was so furious about. It didn’t took her long to realize that, so she approached his room finding her son lying on the bed staring at the ceiling.

“Are you even listening.”

No answer, no movement, no reaction at all.

“You know I hate it when you leave you things scattered in the house.”

“I know that.”

“If you do, why – “ Her eyes saw the jacket laying on the ground and she got even more angry at her son. The bag she had been carrying from the hall to Tezuka’s room was dropped right before her feet.

“I want you to put this bag at its right place and your jacket doesn’t belong on the ground. So get up, and stop just laying there. Just because we’re moving doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want for the remaining days.”

Without waiting for a reply she rushed out of the room.

— — —


It was a warm and sunny morning and the sun was shining right into the face of Fuji Syusuke. His tickling nose made him sneeze.

Oh my, is it already morning?

Yawning he sat up and took a glimpse at his alarm clock. 7 o’clock.

I feel like I didn’t sleep at all and my head … it’s like somebody stood beside my bed all night screaming at me. Damn this, I shouldn’t have been crying all night, not over him. This idiot.

The very moment he had finished this thought he cursed himself for it. No, Tezuka was no idiot, he was just trying to be reasonable, wasn’t he?

But there’s no way I’ll join morning practise. I don’t want to see him, ‘cause I don’t know, what I’ll act like if I did…

Fuji got up and took a long warm shower finishing with a short cold one. Just the right thing to get his mind working properly again. After finishing breakfast he left telling his family he had things to take care of downtown.

Aimlessly he walked through the streets.

What shall I do now? I can’t face him anymore and it feels even worse then the very moment he told me he would be leaving soon. It’s not fair.

He sighed. His feet had brought him to the tennis courts of a Junior High School. Watching the kids practising to swing the raquet Fuji remembered how he and his brother had started to play tennis. Deep in thoughts he never heard the young man coming that was now standing right beside him.

“Remembering the good old times when we all started to play ourselves?”

Surprised Fuji looked at Atobe Keigo and smiled at him.

“Yea, something like that. And you, what are you doing here?”

“Oh, I just passed by accident and thought I saw somebody I knew, so I just stopped by to say hello.”

“Hello then. “

“I have to admitt, I a little suprised to see you walking around on your own.”

“Why’s that? Don’t you think I’m old enough to leave the house without my parents taking my hand?” Fuji gave him another smile.

“I didn’t mean it that way, Syusuke. I just thought you’d be hanging around with Tezuka.”

“With Tezuka? Why would I be with him?”

Atobe only nodded and tried to read Fuji’s reaction.

You know that you’re having the sweetest smile I ever saw, Fuji Syusuke? But nevertheless something doesn’t feel right, something’s bothering you…

“Well, I thought Tezuka and you – you were a couple.”

Fuji’s facial expression got even harder to read now, the smile had left his lips and he looked rather serious now. His eyes opened for a short second revealing the pain he was feeling while his voice sounded rather angry.

“Well, we’re not and we never were.”

Atobe was cought be surprise again. But while he still tried to read all the emotions Fuji’s appearance just let slip, Fuji himself changed back to his usual smiling self again.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to sound rude.”

“Don’t worry, it’s alright, Syusuke.”

After a short break thinking about what else he could say, Atobe turned his attention back to the kids in front of them.

“Looks like they still have a long way to go if they want to become one of the best.”

“Not everybody playing tennis is aiming for being one of the best, Atobe.”

“But where’s the sense in spending a lot of time on training, if you don’t?”

“There might be some who just want to have some fun, who simply enjoy standing on the court playing with friends.”

“Yea, maybe. That sounds like something typical for you to say.”

“I never wanted to become one of the best in the first place.”

“But you did nevertheless.”

“It’s because we had a dream. Our team dreamed about winning the nationals and I wanted to live that dream with them.”

“I see.”

Decreasing the distance between the two of them Atobe put an arm around Fuji’s shoulders.

“Well, you did quite a good job, didn’t you?”

“It was the effort of the team, and anything but mine alone.”

“But you were definitely one of the most impressive players back then.” Saying so Atobe leaned closer and whispered the right into Fuji’s ear. “Just as expected from a genius like you.”

Feeling Atobe’s breath on his ear, Fuji had to surpress a shiver. Suddenly he baked away. No, this wasn’t right. Without saying another word he left.

It’s not like you didn’t enjoy this feeling for a short time, did you Syusuke? To me you look like a falling angel that was bumbed out of heaven by somebody you trusted a lot. But that makes it easier for me, doesn’t it?

Smiling Atobe left the courts.

— — —

Eiji and Oishi arrived early for this day’s morning practise. After changing they started warming up. The next to come was of course Tezuka himself, followed by Inui and Kaidoh. Kawamura arrived in time, too, and Momo and Echizen arrived a little late, as always and were told to run 20 laps before entering the courts.

“Fuji sure’s late today, isn’t he?” Eiji told his partner when they changed courts. “Probably he just overslept.” Oishi suggested. Eiji shot him a look. “You know as good as I do, that Fuji is probably the least of us to oversleep anything.” “Yes, but –“

“Hey, no small talk during practise. 20 laps for the both of you.”

So Eiji and Oishi joined Momo and Echizen running laps.

“I wonder, how many laps Fuji will have to run.” “I don’t know, Momo-senpai, but if you keep talking, you’ll surely get some extra laps.”

— — —

In the afternoon, when most of the customers that had come for lunch had left, Kawamura Takashi excused himself and left his fathers sushi shop heading for the Fuji family’s house.

I hope he’s at home. Something seems to be terribly wrong. Fuji wouldn’t skip training for nothing. I hope he’s alright…

Finally arriving at his destination Yumiko answered the door.

“Ah, Kawamura-kun! Long time no see. I bet you want to see Syusuke.”

“Eh, yes, that’s right. Nice to see you, Fuji-san.”

“Yumiko is fine, I’m not that old.” She winked at Kawamura who blushed a little.

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t worry. Come in. He’s in his room, I guess you know the way?”

“Yes, thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

Kawamura knocked softly at the door before he entered. Fuji was sitting on his bed reading. He hadn’t noticed the knocking and was quite surprised to see his friend entering his room.

“Hi Fuji.”

“Uh? Taka-san? Come in.” Smiling he laid the book aside, taking the jacket from Kawamura.

“Quite a surprise to see you, I think you never visited me without telling me before.”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t want to disturb or anything. I-“

“Hey, stop apologizing. It’s nice to see you. I’m going to get some tea for us. Is there any special flavour you’d prefere?”

“No, anything’s fine, thank you.”

Fuji nodded and left his guest behind. After a short time he came back with a tray carrying a teapot and two cups. After having some general conversation about Kawamura’s work at the sushi shop and photography, Kawamura finally found the courage to speak his mind.

“You haven’t been to morning practise today.”

“No, I haven’t.” Fuji answered after a short break.

“We were worried, you know?”

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to make you.”

“So, what was wrong?”

“Listen, Taka-san. I won’t play tennis in a club anymore.”

“You don’t mean that! Tell me it’s a joke, Fuji, please.”

“I’m afraid it’s not.”

“But, why? You’re one of the best, there’s no reason for you to lay tennis aside.”

Leaning back in his chair Fuji sighed.

“There is.”

Kawamura glared at him in disbelieve when a thought crossed his mind.


Fuji merely nodded.

“I can’t face him anymore, Taka-san. I’m sorry.”

“But avoiding him won’t help you, Fuji. Why don’t you brace yourself up to talk to him, you have to-“

“I did!”


“I did tell him and that’s the problem.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Can’t you tell, Taka-san.”

Fuji felt his eyes watering again. He had forced himself to think about anything but Tezuka for the rest of the day and now one of his best friends sat right in front of him mentioning him again. Why couldn’t he simply see that it hurt him?

But Kawamura saw it, saw right through him when he looked into Fuji deep blue eyes.

“What happened?”

Tezuka doesn’t love me. He won’t miss me at all when he’s in Germany.

“He – rejected me. Simple, isn’t it?”

“But, why?”

“Darn it, Taka-san! If I knew I wouldn’t have asked him in the first place.”

“I’m sorry, Fuji… If I hadn’t told you to-“

“No, it’s alright. If I hadn’t asked him, he might have left and I would have thought he’d come back one day. But well, I guess I gave him a reason to not come back at all.”

Fuji tried to smile, but couldn’t keep himself from crying. Why did it have to hurt so much? Kawamura didn’t know what else to say and simply stood up to take his friend into his arms. He had never seen Fuji cry before.

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