Time: Into the future and looking back at the past.
Warning: Please do not proceed if you do not know what yaoi/shounen ai is. You will be mentally scarred if you don't. Flame and hate mail will be ignored.
Also there is an out of character Fuji... I think.
Foreword: In the European's point of view, Fuji will be called as Shuusuke in writing or verbally, either or. The Japanese will call him either Fuji, or Syuusuke and in a family perspective he will be called by his first name, of course. In a third person perspective he will remain as Fuji. There are no spelling mistakes.
People will probably hate me for introducing an OC in the beginning of the story but I need it for my plot. So sorry guys. He's kind of major, but anyway...
The Japanese dialogue here will remain Japanese for reasons that we are looking at it on an English point of view. I generally don't use that much Japanese in my works, save for the expressions, honorifics and names that are best left in Japanese (i.e. neechan sounds better in dialogue than older sister.) I think though that the only chapter that has a major confusion in language is chapter 1. Translations and additional notes are at the end of the page.
Disclaimer: I do not own Tennis no Oujisama or its characters or Oxford. This is not done for profit or monetary gain, original characters though are mine. Please ask permission if you would like to use them.
European Studies:Chapter 1
The sleeping quarters of their apartment barely had anything in it save for a few boxes and a bed that the Japanese boy, who sat amidst the cluttered mess of their belongings, would share with his roommate. He furrowed his brows in contemplation, deep in thought as he chose which of the items would, stay in the small apartment or go home with him in his upcoming trip home.
He closed his eyes out of habit and sighed, unfastened the first few buttons of his shirt as he felt the heat or rather the humidity of the area. He groaned and cursed his roommate for taking the remote for the aircon with him. With less enthusiasm, he picked up the parcels in the box that was labeled his one by one and found the little trinkets he received from his family, the gifts from Yuuta, the gifts from his friends here in Europe. He scrutinized each one as he weighed its importance and set it down, neatly piling them into different categories. "I'm not becoming a sentimental fool now, am I?"
Not minding the call at first he continued rummaging through his things once more. He came across a few more things that he could do without and a wooden box that he could not put forth a memory of its contents. He gave it up. Setting the task aside, he wiped the beads of sweat that had formed on his forehead with the back of his hand, looked up to his roommate and gave that unnerving smile of his. He whistled in appreciation at what he saw. "He looks good in a suit, and he knows it." Laughing, he stood up and let his eyes roam the rather tall brunette, hands on his hips.
The said man in suit lowered his arms at the compliment he had received and made sure not to destroy the two sets of robes he had with him. He had the build of an athlete and the charm and charisma to match it. His hair had been cut short for tonight, a small part above the ear had been shaved, and there was no mark of the blue highlights that had nearly deprived him of the medal he was to receive. He leaned by the doorway as he pouted, blue eyes glittering with mirth, and expressed his feelings. "Enough eye candy already. So, up to what time can I have my angel tonight?" Smug, he held out the clothes Fuji was supposed to be wearing for the event today.
Alleged angel rolled his eyes, got the pieces of clothing from the man and went to change in the bathroom but stopped right before he closed the door. "/Not until after we finish moving/. Besides, you're the one that has an interview tonight." He reprimanded as he gave the other a last look, playfully reproachful, and shut the door with a resounding bang. He hung the garments on a rack, peeled his sweat drenched shirt off and placed it in the hamper. He sighed. He let the bath run while he looked at himself in the mirror that hung by the wall and propped himself up on the sink below it. He wasn't old, but he wasn't young either. He also managed to keep that 'effeminate' air, as everyone liked to describe him as, cynical at times and down right scary when mad but nonetheless he was still the same. Still a child in a twisted sort of logic.
"Very twisted." He tried a smile, opened his eyes completely and concluded: "I look like hell." He hung his head low into the sink and drenched it with cold water from the faucet. As he felt his muscles relax to the cool of the water, a realization struck him. 'Maybe I am turning into a sorry old sob'. A knock on the door was the only thing that alarmed him to put on a better stance and to turn off the tap. 'The lock...'
"Shuusuke." Leon looked at the him hard, his jaw set to a firm line, as if he was thinking on whether to dismiss the subject or not. Shuusuke then heard something cracking a bit and diverted his eyes from the other man to the door knob. He decided not to comment on it. The taller of the two released his grip on the abused handle held him by his shoulders and bored into his eyes. "I'm serious, Shuusuke, up to when can you stay with me?"
He closed his eyes as if in meditation for a while, a split second too long, tilted his head to the left and elucidated. "I'm going to Japan tomorrow, but I'm going to come back, Leon. I'll /be /here." The water in the tub was nearly full, and threatened both of them of an oncoming spillage. Fuji motioned for the door to the other man. "Now, go on. Get out. I have to take a bath before going to our graduation. I don't think it would be very nice if people were a mile away from me on the day of our graduation just because I smell like a skunk."
Leon looked at him for a while, as if not wanting to leave it at just that, and when Shuusuke was about to say something else, he had kissed him on the cheek. He left as if nothing happened, simply closing the door in his wake.
The red stone walls of the circular structure stood cool as the sun set and the moon slowly crept its way up. It was a lively house, with people full of admiration for their young ones and people full of dreams for their future. The walkway was already being occupied by a bright mass of students setting off for who-knows-what with success already at the palm of their hands readily manipulated and easily obtainable as they molded it with their own being.
Fuji whistled. It was like playing God yet it was far from it.
Yes, Oxford was a nice enough place, with its magnificent buildings and historical background. It was picture perfect and a wonder that they had considered to even take him in there. He /had /applied for a Waverly Scholarship with the eager help of his father, to his surprise, but it was all merely on a whim. Everything just seemed to have been a dream that had whizzed by, and now, now was its last cycle in REM, and any minute now he'd be waking up in his room just in time for his senior high graduation.
He walked briskly along the second floor hall of the theater. Fuji Shuusuke shook his head at the wistful thoughts he had conjured up and it in effect gave him a minor migraine. All of this was a hundred percent real. He knew it. He had worked hard for it, toiled over it and spent sleepless nights because of it. Buchou would definitely have been proud. He closed his eyes reverting back to his old habit - it never really went away.
His whole family was here, and he couldn't begin to describe the feeling of joy he had at this very moment. Mother had visited him once and a while when she went with father around the world, but it still didn't encompass the heartache of not being a part of the family for four years. All those celebrations, the festivals he missed, the moments he could have shared were gone and catalogued as oppurtunity cost. When he had caught a glimpse of Yumiko-neechan a while ago, he nearly squealed and grabbed at Leon's arm to rush and meet up with them. Nearly. It would have happened if the stress ball hadn't decided to rebel, swatting his arm away and covering his mouth with that big hand of his. Grinning like a Cheshire cat he headed for the stock room.
Fuji looked around the small and cramped up space. Props and costumes for plays, lighting equipment and some speakers were still there, being checked by two people from the maintenance staff for inventory as they were not needed for the day. Upon spotting a blonde man in his 40s by a rather large divider, he approached the person. The man wore a black gown much similar to his own save for the fact that the man had a hood of black silk lined with crimson colors. He bowed slightly in respect. "Sir Evans? The students are assembled, and the guests have already taken their seats...most of them anyway."
The blonde man looked at the Japanese boy for a few seconds before clapping onto Fuji's back. He gave a hearty laugh and asked with a twinkle in his eye. "Shall we start it then, Shuusuke?"
Leon then emerged from behind the divider and attempted to do away with the butterflies that annoyed him to no end. "You're starting without me? I'm hurt." He tugged at his robes and rubbed his hands together in a last bout of nervousness. Evans snorted and Fuji couldn't agree more. The teacher ushered the other two out to the assembly area. Leon made the last of his qualms settle down and looked at the shorter brunette. "Good luck kiss...?"
Fuji's eyebrow twitched as Sir Evan's grimaced in the background. "We're not lovey-dovey like that. Let's go." He tugged at Leon's arm, gave it a comforting pat and just before he opened the door to the outside, gave him a kiss on the cheek just to make the other relax .
Evans raised his eyebrows in question at the gesture then brushed it off. "We're waiting Leon Rowe." he prompted, though it probably meant more of a, save-me-from-the-embarrassment kind of thing than a command.
Leon nodded in answer to his teacher and led them out to the assembly area. He gave last minute reminders to the excited crowd and made sure that everyone was in line. Evans told them to enjoy and be proud of themselves before stalking off to settle things with some teachers. Quelled with excitement and nervousness, tension filled the air, and their noise played on in their minds. They took their places with Leon at the very front and Fuji right behind him. They were given the signal. Everyone hushed up or were forced to by their more stuck-up and stringent classmates. They marched and the ceremony began.
"Are. Aniki da."
"Okaasan, mite sochira wa Syuusuke-kun desyo ne"
"Sou desu ne. Anata, mite kudasai."
"Fujii-san nandate? Ano hito wa Fuji-tensai soshite oretachi no - "
Shuusuke made a sidelong glance to the Japanese group that they had passed on the other end of the room. They stopped upon reaching their assigned seats, and all of them faced the stage in sync. That caught the attention of the crowd, and hushed them with their barely practiced but exact movements. Two soldiers held the British flag and the insignia of the school up high as six more lined up behind them as they went for the stage and saluted the audience. One tap and the National Anthem began.
The song came to an end and Leon motioned for everyone to take their seats as he was in the very front. Sir Evans, standing proud beside his faculty, approached the pedestal and spoke with authority and charisma that wouldn't allow you to look anywhere else but at him. People were just compelled to stop whatever they doing. "Parents, family, friends and beloved faculty we are gathered here today to honor these young men and women, to induct them into the world of reality, to award them with their medals and trophies, to watch them take up their hoods, to stand by them as they throw their caps. As Dean of this department, I would like to congratulate these students for a job well done."
"Summa cum Laude, Rowe, Leon..." Leon stood and was up the stage, was handed the medal and was bowing at the center before anyone even had to bat an eyelash. His parents were the ones to award him. A picture was taken, and they proceeded to their seats afterwards. In Fuji's perspective Leon was really happy even if he put up that irritated look of his when his mother had smothered him with her love, and when she hadn't dared to be separated from her lovely son.
"...Magna cum Laude, Fujii Shuusuke..." Fuji gave the loving family a last look before proceeding to the stage. There stood his mother and younger brother - that surprised him a bit (why not dad?). He accepted the medal from his dean and mentor, the solid proof of his hard work and of his undaunted efforts up to this day, shook his hand, took his bow and walked slowly towards his family. His mother was, as usual, smiling disturbingly and beaming so that you couldn't get within a meter radius of her if you didn't have enough of the Fuji-gene. The graduate amusedly accused his mother of being a mosquito repellant as he offered his four years in silver. The three of them posed for the picture and went down the stage. Their conversation was much too brief and ended with him giving thanks and asking to greet otousan and /neechan/. He took his seat and smiled dreamily. Yuuta was still his little brother.
The graduation went as planned, with Sir Evans calling everyone to name, awarding all of them with their diplomas, medals and most especially honors and awards. Both Leon and Shuusuke stood up for a second time for their own diplomas and Shuusuke a third for his research. As the last name was called, the music and the murmurs slowly hushed into a silence.
After the announcer relinquished his hold of the microphone to Leon, the stillness turned to a deafening note. It wasn't so much because there was anything left to anticipate but more so because there was something that would be left behind. Time was making sure it made its point. There was no turning back. And Time was personified in the very being of Leon Rowe at that pedestal when his speech had begun.
"Neither the best writer nor poet, nay Shakespeare, will ever be able to capture the exact words to describe what I see before me. Even if then they may scribble something up to par it will not do justice unto us neither will it be enough convey the true feelings of this moment.
"The futility of the task does not matter, and a fool, such as me, took the job. Regrets never came to battle in that four-chambered vault neither in memory nor in thought.
"From the same cup we have sipped. To the same banner we have rallied. And if now to Fate we give our perfect resignation then everything was for nothing. No matter how many times the hourglass is turned the flow of sand continues with the laws it imposes upon itself. If scars were made, let them bleed and remain fresh within you wherever you go. We are clay no more.
"Tonight we hope. Tonight we remember. Tonight we are.
"And as the moon reaches its zenith, we pull away from the past and head for the future. To the stars we've aimed for. To the hearts we've claimed. Even if now alone, we are still one."
When the applause had died out, Sir Evans, Master and Dean of the department, took the place where Leon previously stood, swept his gaze over the whole student body. "Stand proud, you one thousand some students, now that you are graduates of the University of Oxford. Raise our banner high and uplift the school's spirit." He beat his chest and bowed to the crowd as if humbling himself before them, setting them all as equals, with the faculty members following suit. The student body threw their caps and cheered.
Sotugyoushiki! Fuji! Sotsugyou! Sotsugyou! Banzai!
Ochitsuite na, Eiji!
Fuji, ore wa, kochira e -
'What? I can't hear you.'
"I can't hear you!" Fuji squeezed his unseeing eyes shut and held his head with his two hands. The noise and the pounding were slowing to a harsh buzz that throbbed slowly into an acute pain. Leon was shaking him awake, a worried look marring his face, and Fuji finally snapped back into reality. He stood there and gaped for a few seconds before he relieved Leon with a slight upturn of the lips. Looking around, he saw that they had already gone out of the theater, with their families closing in on them. Groups of people had already passed by to congratulate them and a few to say their good byes.
"Syuusuke-san, omedetou." Yoshiko, the mother of the Fuji household, greeted as she hugged her eldest son and patted his back.
"Domou. /Ano, this is Leon Rowe."/ He introduced, gesticulating to the man beside him, and Leon bowed as customary for greetings in the east, blurted out what Japanese he knew, heavily accented with Britain's winds.
"Okaasan, it is rude to speak nihonggo while some people do not understand." Yumiko said in between the less than polite chortles she tried to suppress. Leon looked torn in the decision to be embarrassed or forlorn.
"/He understands nee-chan." /Syuusuke added in. He tapped Leon's back and gestured to the other's family and his watch. "We'll be going then, Leon."
Struck by the time, Leon made a non-committal sound which they took as a yes and dashed off to his father's car. Not a very good first impression but it'll do.
"Syuusuke! That boy owns a Lamborghini!" Yumiko had exclaimed when she dropped her bag onto the sofa and tailed her younger brothers. "A Lamborghini! Can I have him?"
Syuusuke chuckled at his sister's antics as he unlocked the master's bedroom. "I haven't finished packing or moving yet." It was still the same as before, cluttered, save for the bed area and the desk - the order had arrived right before they left for their graduation. It was now below the air conditioner and held controllers of different kinds. Yumiko nodded in understanding, and as inspiration struck she headed for the kitchenette. He then turned the air conditioner up and made for the living room.
"Where are mom and dad?"
Yuuta kept flipping through a book and mentioned something about work and a send of. He felt his brother's gaze on his back and it unnerved him somewhat. "What?"
"Ne, Yuuta, help me with my things."
Yuuta dropped his book onto the low table in front of him and headed for the bedroom. He looked at the mess and muttered the usual baka aniki, which for Syuusuke seemed more of an endearment than an insult. Beside the stroller were the undone clothes, and set himself to finish the task. He only then began to really look at his brother's living area, noticed that the walls were bare of any pictures or rather photographs of any sort and, as he recalled the room they had come from, he hadn't seen any of those either. The place was nice, had a modern feel to it, but it seemed more of -if anything remotely familiar to him anyway- Atobe-san's style especially the animal prints for rugs. He decided he needed to let his brother know that. "This flat doesn't seem like you designed it all."
"Aa, Leon did, and as I told you before the bedroom isn't done yet." Syuusuke answered, getting the wooden box out of the carton and shaking it in a last attempt to figure out what was stored inside. "He said he'll finish it before I come back." He added, looking at the box quizzically. He finally dismissed the idea altogether as he had no key to open the lock and wasn't about to spend on something so trivial.
Upon noticing the object of his older brother's attention earlier, Yuuta squealed, "You still have that!" He grabbed at the box, opened his palm and offered it to the elder. When his arm felt tired of waiting he scowled and faced his older brother. "Where's the key?"
Syuusuke furrowed his brows and contemplated on how to answer his brother who seemed overly elated at the sight of the red oak box. He rummaged through his carton again and deadpanned. "I don't have it." He wondered what his younger brother looked like right now but wouldn't dare to turn and see. The subject seemed touchy and he wouldn't want to break that fragile understanding they had going right now. Not that the option he decided on was the best of choices.
"Then it's in Japan?"
"It's with Rowe-san?"
Syuusuke faced his younger brother and stated in frustration and with finality. "I do not know." He stood, got the contraption and placed it in the pile where all his things where going with him to Japan. As it was stowed away all into a box that would fit, he sealed it off with some duct tape and ignored the little voice at the back of his mind that was screeching he'd regret doing that (Probably because he'd have to unpack and repack it). He remembered the voices from a while a go, the one screaming in excitement because of their graduation, the one trying to calm them down, the one making his head hurt. Remembering things like that aggravated his migraine and it certainly came back with a vengeance. "Why is the box so important, Yuuta?"
Yuuta opened his mouth to say something then shut it hard. No one spoke for what seemed like an eternity. Neither of them knew exactly what to say. Yuuta couldn't explain something so glaringly obvious. Syuusuke couldn't understand something so blatantly obscure. When Yuuta had tried to explain again Syuusuke just stopped him from saying anything else with an affectionate kiss on the forehead and told him 'to not mind it anymore'. They finished packing up his clothes and zipped his luggage bag up.
The door opened, and their mother came in as quietly as she could. "Ah, so you are done. Shall we eat so that we may return to our hotel?" she suggested, holding the doorway open for the two, the delicious smell wafted into the room.
If there was anyone to be suspicious about in the family, it was their mother. She had impeccable timing and had perception honed as if it was a sixth sense. Syuusuke noted to himself that he would have to thank her later on. Yuuta stood immediately, went for the kitchenette as he let his nose lead the way. Going back to the topic at hand, Syuusuke informed her of his agenda. "I still have to finish clearing this area up first. I'm sure Leon wouldn't mind you staying here, 'kaachan."
"Very well, then."
Dinner was served by Yumiko. It was a basic Japanese meal - miso soup, fish and some rice - after all she had to make do with what was available. She deemed it fit since Syuusuke had little to no encounters of Japanese food in this side of the world - that was up to par in her opinion anyway.
The four, since their father had already left for work in Germany as they would find out later from Yoshiko, indulged in the comfortable atmosphere and in the peaceful night of Europe. With some prodding, Syuusuke had talked a lot about the sights of Britain and the magnificence of its history and culture. He spoke animatedly, with fulfillment and dreams of his future coming to be laid out in this place. As he started it seemed that the stories would never end.
He also spoke of Leon, as in his letters. He told them stories of what they had done together and what he was like. He retold and recounted to them everything and made the other known to his family. They laughed themselves to tears at times when they would find out about things that he was supposedly not to have blabbed about for they were truly embarrassing situations. Syuusuke would whisk at away as something perfectly normal, obviously not feeling guilty in the slightest.
Seven o'clock in the morning, the Fuji family was checking their bags in for the flight to Japan. They were taking a direct route with JAL and were readying themselves for the trip. In the waiting area, Yumiko went to the desk for their assigned seats. Boarding would be starting in a few minutes from now.
Leon stood by his lover and gave the man his hand-carry. "Well, see you in two weeks, Shuusuke."
"Three, actually." Fuji corrected, Leon grimaced and made comments on smart aleck Japanese men. "Take care, Leon."
The call to start boarding had been announced. They nodded in understanding and Fuji jogged to his family.
I'm going home
End Chapter 1
1) /Waverly Scholarship/ - I'm bending the rules a little. The Waverly Scholarship states that a number of full or partial scholarships will be available for students of outstanding academic merit and potential who require financial assistance to enable them to take up their places at Oxford to read for a first undergraduate degree. Priority will normally be given to students from economically disadvantaged countries as judged by per capita GDP. We all know that Japan is not an economically disadvantaged country and Fuji isn't nearly impoverished.
2) /Graduation rites/ - I know the address should be given by a magna cum laude of the batch, but I am too lazy to create up some unimportant person's name face and reaction. So I just let the dean do it. Furthermore, I didn't want Fuji to do it because though he may be of magna cum laude standing he /isn't /the only one. I also believe that even if he is the magna cum laude of highest ranking he still isn't the best in making English speeches. For one, he's not even raised in a country where English is considered a second language. So there.
3) /They are Octoberians/ - Rather they're Decemberians, but anyway. What I mean to say is that they're not graduating on a normal college graduation day. In my country they usually push these people to the next batch. Last time I checked the Oxford website there was a graduation scheduled for these late people. I don't know how vastly different the graduation is for them though.
The conversation of the Fuji family:
Ah! That's big brother.
Mom, look that man is Shuusuke isn't it?
Yes that's right. Dear, please look as well.
/What's wrong Fujii-san? That person is Fuji, the genius, that's why that person is ---/
In Fuji's head:
Graduation Ceremony! Fuji! Graduation! Graduation! Huray!
Calm down Eiji!
Fuji. I, here on ---
After the graduation ceremony:
/Thank you (the rest is spoken in English but with a Japanese accent)/