This is not right. Something is terribly wrong. Fuji not showing up? And Tezuka didn’t say anything at all about it. I bet he knows why Fuji didn’t show up.
Impatiently Oishi was ringing on the door of the Tezuka household. It took some time before Tezuka himself answered the door.
“Hi. I took a little walk and thought I’d stop by. Want to join me?”
Tezuka looked suspiciously at him.
“Don’t look at me like this. We’re friends and friends are supposed to trust each other.”
“You’re a friend that asked quite a lot of questions lately.”
Oishi flinched at that. He knew that Tezuka didn’t like to be bothered with questions concerning other people’s private life and he liked it even less, when somebody started asking questions about HIS private life.
“But I’ll come anyway.”
They walked in silence. The tension between the two of them was about to drive Oishi crazy when Tezuka suddenly spoke up.
“You’re curious about why Fuji didn’t show up for morning practise.”
“Yea, I guess so…”
“I’m afraid you have to ask him then.”
“I’m saying I don’t know his reasons.”
“So nothing has happened between the two of you?”
It happened way too much. I should have never agreed to go with him finding a court to play tennis in the first place. … Don’t be stupid. … It happened not enough. You shouldn’t have walked away just because you were afraid of facing him. You acted like a coward instead of showing the same courage Fuji had shown when he confessed to you.
“No, nothing happened.”
“Do you think he’ll be there for the next training’s session?”
I’m sure he won’t. He’s mad at me and he has every right to be so.
“Why wouldn’t he? Oishi, listen – it’s useless to discuss this for I don’t know why he didn’t come along today, ok?”
“Yea, you’re maybe right.”
Saying no more the two kept walking.
— — —
There was a sell phone ringing.
“Fuji, that’s yours!” Yumiko called into the direction of the bathroom. Fuji had just taken a shower and still had a towel around his neck to prevent his clothes getting all wet by his hair. He didn’t know the number shown on the display, but answered anyway.
“Hi Syusuke, this is Atobe.”
“Atobe? How did you get this number?”
Fuji could almost see Atobe winking at him, grining that he was able to get him by surprise.
“Listen, I wanted to apologize.”
“There’s no need to.”
“There is. It was not fair to take advantage of you when you were obviously hardly paying attention at all.”
“Let me make it up to you.”
“I said I’m fine, didn’t I?”
“Want to join me for dinner anyway?”
“Sorry, I already had something for dinner. I’m afraid you’ll have to find somebody else to accompany you.”
Without waiting for another answer Fuji hung up on Atobe.
At another place in Tokyo Atobe was staring at his receiver in disbelieve.
Did he just hang up on me? Did he just refused from having dinner with me? Well, this is getting more and more interesting. Don’t think I’ll let you go, Fuji Syusuke. I won’t let my chance to catch an angel like you pass by. And everytime you bake away I’ll try again, everytime you reject me, my desire will grow stronger. No, I definitely won’t let you slip away easily.
— — —
Fuji didn’t think about attending morning practise the next morning either. Instead he just walked from display window to display window. Stopping at his favorite store for cameras he admired the latest camera as well as a tripod. Too bad all these things were way too expensive for him right now. He had started saving money a while ago, but he simply couldn’t decide on what exactly he was going to spend it. He probably looked like a little child gaping excitedly at toys he coudn’t have, but nevertheless imagining himself playing with them.
“This happy smile on your face suits you much better then the fake one, you know?”
Focusing his eyes on the second reflection in the display window Fuji saw Atobe standing next to him.
“Not that it’s your business. May I help you?”
“I just wanted to complement a handsome guy that’s special to me wondering if he would join me for a brunch.”
“I don’t know if this guy you’re talking about would. I certainly won’t.”
Atobe looked a little disappointed, but he didn’t give up.
“Well, if you’re not hungry we can simply have a coffee or a cup of tea together.”
“I’m not interested, sorry.”
Fuji was about to turn around and leave when Atobe hold a bouquet of at least 15 red roses under Fuji’s nose that he had been hiding behind his back so far.
“Comeon, give me a chance.”
People around them had stopped in their tracks staring at the two of them. “Oh my, I wish my boyfriend would be that romantic and get me so many roses!” a woman close to Fuji exclaimed. But everybody else was quite and keeping their breath. They were obviously waiting for Fuji’s answer.
“Well, – “ Fuji took the flowers from Atobe and turned around to face the young woman who had just talked. “- you think this is romantic? Then take them. I don’t want them.”
An uproar was heared from the crowd. But Fuji couldn’t care less and simply left Atobe and the strangers begind, staring at his back in bewilderment.
Fuji was furious. Who did this guy think he was? Fuji never realized a certain redhead following him untill the same greeted him.
“Nya, Fuji, stop running!”
“Yea, the one and only.” The acrobatic player grined at his friend.
“You’re not at practise?”
“Tse, we finished practise like an hour ago. You’re surely losing track on time easily, aren’t you?”
“I guess so.”
“Is there any reason you stopped coming?”
“I don’t want to talk about it, Eiji. I’m sorry.”
“Mh, ok. But whenever you feel like you need somebody to talk to, just call me, will you? We’re best friends after all.”
“Thank you, Eiji.” Fuji smiled at him.
“Never mind it. Oh, by the way, you never told me you were dating Atobe.”
“What am I doing??”
“Dating Atobe. You know, going out with him and -”
“Of course you’re not, just wanted to tease you a bit. If you were you would have taken that bouquet for yourselves.”
“But he surely must have a crush on you. I mean buying you so much roses. Seeing you two I thought he was about to confess anytime telling you that you’re the only one he’d ever love and –“
“Eiji, stop it.”
“Nya, ok, he obviously didn’t get the chance to do so.”
“Was it the first time he approached you?”
Fuji was not sure if he wanted to answer this question.
Don’t be stupid. He’s your friend…
“No, it wasn’t.”
“He asked me out for dinner yesterday.”
“Really, that sounds exciting. Did you go?”
Fuji only nodded.
“Gosh, Fuji. I never thought he’d be so persitent. Looks like he won’t let those he laid eyes on escape easily.”
“To me he always seemed to be rather persitent. Like a spoiled child that was used to get what it wanted.”
“He,he, yea that sounds just like Atobe.”
“But you know what, Eiji? I’m really wondering if I should give him a try. I mean, probably he’s not as bad as we think.”
“I just – I thought you were in love with Tezuka and now you tell me you think about going out with that Atobe guy.”
“That’s none of your business. Sorry, but I’d rather go home now. – Alone.”
— — —
Oishi was just about to make himself comfortable at his bed planning on finally finishing the book he had been reading for the past week when his sell rang.
“Oishi we need to talk!”
“I’m not disturbing, am I?”
“No, you’re not. What is it that you want to talk to me about?”
“I’d rather tell you in person. So do you mind me coming over to your place?”
“You know that you don’t have to ask. Whenever you want to come, feel free to do so.”
“Thanks, see you outright.”
With that Eiji hung up and left Oishi wondering what could be so important to his partner. Only 15 minutes had passed when Oishi opened the door for his friend.
Before Oishi could say anything else then a simple “Hi.” To greet his boxfriend, Eiji had his entangled his arms around his neck putting a deep kiss on Oishi’s lips. When they partened both gasping for air Oishi grined at him.
“You don’t plan to just stand here in the door frame, do you?”
“Nee, I’d rather come in.”
“Good. Would you like some tea?”
Nodding Eiji followed his partner into the kitchen.
“Oishi, something terible’s happening.”
“Something terrible? What do you mean?”
“You know, I met Fuji downtown today –“
“Oh, I’ve also been talking to Tezuka. So what did he say? Any news about why didn’t join us for the training?”
“Well, no. But I saw him with Atobe and –“
“Atobe? Atobe Keigo?”
“Weird. Go on.”
“If you think this is weird, you should have seen the bouquet of roses he wanted to give to Fuji. It looked as if he wanted to confess or even worse, propose!”
At the sound of these news Oishi droped the cup he was just holding. Scattering into pieces it fell down. “I don’t understand. I thought Fuji and Tezuka –“
“Yea, I thought so to and I was stupid enough to tell Fuji.”
“What did he say?”
“He said it was none of my business… And that he’ thinking about giving Atobe a chance.”
“What? He can’t! I don’t believe he’s even cosidering going out with this spoiled and nasty guy!”
Cofused Eiji stared at Oishi. He had never heard him to talk about somebody in such a bad way. Not even if this person was treating him bad.
“I’m sorry, Eiji. I just always thought the two of them made a perfect couple. But since Tezuka anounced he’d leave for Germany they started to act rather cold toward each other, didn’t they?”
“And I really don’t want to imitate Inui, but I was 100% sure they have been together all along.”
“I guess everybody thought so.”
“Now it seems we’re all wrong.”
“Well, I don’t know. I don’t believe Fuji could really fall in love with Atobe, I don’t want to. This is so frustrating. I always thought I was his best friend and that he would tell me everything, but I feel like I have no clue what’s going on in his mind. No clue at all…”
“Probably we should ask somebody else. Somebody that’s close to Fuji, too…”