Forgiving. Loving. Returning.
This has become a Yuuta chapter :)
I bunked the first scene from before to the previous chapter and swapped it with another that I found more appropriate.
I also added a prayer. Yes. It's in italics in the original second part. If my best friend ever reads this she's going to kill me. I derived it from a prayer I made for her. I just thought the situation fit each line like a glove. It reminds me of all those song fics though...
1) Yuuta's Religion - I don't know if he's Catholic so it's all supposition and assumptions. It's possible but not likely.
2)Aniki and Oniisan - I emphasize the difference. Oniisan is more feminine, but is more respectful as opposed to aniki. Please take note of this subtle difference in future chapters.
Read and review please. Comments and/or constructive criticisms also accepted. :)
standard warnings and disclaimers apply
For badluck-ngprod, yamatoforever, chestnuts and ruji (sorry about last time!). You guys keep me going.
European Studies:Chapter 4
There were times in life one just had to stop and reassess what everyone meant to him. It was one of those unexpected occurrences you inevitably have to resolve. It was an impending stop that would tell you more of yourself than any other event you would have to go through. Yuuta's arrived no later than her sister barging in on them on that most embarrassing moment.
The conversation just outside the room of his brother that he used as sanctuary against the most evil Fuji to date carried over to his sensitive ears. More like his sister enquiring, demanding an explanation and Syuusuke challenging her with silence. He heard the slap and the orders which followed. His cheek stung as though he had been the one who was hit.
When everything had tided over he sneaked out of the room and headed for his own. Even after all these years he was still unsure if over-protectiveness really wasn't a gene his parents hadn't formed in some weird lab. He opened his closet, got two small old wooden rackets, set them on his study table and inspected for anything out of the ordinary. He set the newer one aside and fixed his eyes on the battered looking racket - battered wasn't even an adjective that began to describe it. He mulled over it for awhile. He remembered the memories which came with this memento. He saw them all flash before his eyes, as if reliving it. The beginning. The end. The bullying. The defense. The friends. The rivals. The proximity. The separation. His oniisan then his aniki.
With nothing to note, Yuuta kept the two rackets. He sat by the table again and drew a clean sheet of paper from a pile. His left hand itched to write something, anything on it. It left a nice black splat against the pure white. And without realizing it the beginning strokes for the kanji of his brother's name were already there.
He now knew if he were to list the people most significant to him without a doubt Syuusuke would have been on the top.
Reluctant though to ever say it aloud he knew his older brother, his /nii-san/, had always been there supporting him and guiding him. Syuusuke tried so hard to give what their father couldn't because of some trip abroad; sometimes trying to fill in even for mother and Yumiko. Time and his damned pride were the culprits of their drifting apart. If before they were attached by the hip. Now they were not. Even still he could not imagine Mizuki, Tezuka or any other person replacing the spot he reserved especially for him.
There was a knock on his door which he barely recognized. Yumiko was asking of dinner's whereabouts and was replied to by a disbelieving stare. She got the hint and started backing out the room, but Yuuta stopped her. "Nee-san, why do you suppose people forget?"
Yumiko was thrown off-balance with the question, coughed for effect and thought some more before deciding on an answer. "I'm not sure Yuuta, but it's obviously because we're human. It means we're still searching for something more than what we have right? Still wanting?" The look which adorned Yuuta's face was almost plaintive, and Yumiko concerned herself with her brother's welfare for the second time today. "You okay? Want a reading?"
"I'm fine /Nee-san/, and no, I don't want a reading." Yuuta grinned and walked his sister out. "I'll be using the phone for a while."
He stalked to their living room, rang Mizuki's number and sequestered information on Tezuka Kunimitsu, former Seigaku Captain and President, former senior, former classmate of his brother - a current enigma.
It was time to turn the tables. He would be the one giving Syuusuke strength to move on. He would make him remember and discover what he was still frantically searching for. He would be the one doing the caring and not the other way around. That meant he had to get those precious to him back. Who better to help him than the enigma himself?
The other line was picked up by the answering machine. The voice of Atobe singing his heart out to Tezuka registered in his brain. He could hear Tezuka narrating the lines that followed each and the self-proclaimed diva added the notes with fluid spontaneity. Then he heard the beep. "Ara, Tezuka-san... you're not with Atobe-san are you? Ah nevermind..." Yuuta bit his lip and gathered his bearings. This would pose a problem. "This is Fuji, Yuuta, Tezuka-san. If you're free tomorrow, could you pass by the same sports center at lunch time? If not please tell me A.S.A.P., and I'll try to pass by your office." He heard the front door slam shut and returned the receiver to its cradle.
Syuusuke had come back with the groceries. "Yuuta, do you have Tezuka's number?"
He broke into a sweat and wondered if his brother had a third eye he kept hidden somewhere. "Yeah. Just a second." He pretended to look for it in the address book beside the telephone and gave the piece of paper to Syuusuke. "Here." Syuusuke beamed at him and set the groceries down.
Yuuta went up the stairs and implored silently to any god who cared to listen to a mortal tonight. Hopefully everything would go well.
Sitting by a table with a strategic location to watch the entrance, Yuuta drummed his fingers relentlessly on it. There is small conjecture why he was acting like this as if foreboding the meeting. A) He was going to talk to a man whom he never really had a conversation with before B) If and when his elder brother found out he'd probably be hunted and massacred three times over C) If Mizuki found out he really would be the second wave of that D) If Mizuki found out Ann would and etc...The list was a longer one but he had decided to let it go already. Fact is just thinking about it made him want to give this all up. But that still wasn't an option - definitely not.
The stubbornness of a Fuji.
The automatic doors slid open, making him stand in anticipation. Only to find out it was a boy, probably a year younger than he was. Dropping down on his chair again, Yuuta continued to drum his fingers on the table and attended to the entrance with unblinking eyes. He watched the seconds pass by with the clock situated right above the door way.
Though already known in this establishment, he was the topic of the whispers among the staff members. For one, he was probably acting out of the ordinary. And another, he usually wasn't alone when he came here. Maybe they thought he was dumped. What did they care anyway?
"Sir are you sure I can't get you - "
"No thank you." Yuuta answered curtly, waving the poor girl off. There were times when he would have acted and been courteous to the girl, but this just wasn't it. This meeting was just too important for him to be distracted. Besides he didn't like flirty table girls in extremely short skirts anyway. He stood, thinking he had caught sight of the pristine man, and to his credit he did, called to him, and offered the seat across himself. The man took this time to breathe in big gulps of air. Yuuta rummaged through his duffel bag and gave him bottled water.
Tezuka, extremely grateful, tried to drink all of it in one go and tried to keep his dignity intact. Tried being the operative word. At the back of his mind he consoled himself that no one knew him here, save for the person across the table.
Yuuta blinked and blinked again. He decided curiosity always won in this kind of game and was just glad he wasn't really a cat. Tipping his head ever so slightly to the side, he asked. "What happened, Tezuka-san?"
"My car broke down again." Ah - that would answer it and the tardiness. After all the man had confirmed last night. But this left them pressed for time.
"How much time do you have left?"
"Ten minutes if I run." He began praying. God,
"Being towed away."
Yuuta shifted from his seat, clasped his hands together and leaned on the table in an effort to get closer - as close as comfort would allow them. He would have rather liked a healthy discussion on this topic than just-the-basics, but it would have to suffice. "I'll get straight to the point then." Tezuka nodded and murmured his thanks at the consideration. "I think my brother has some gaps in his memory." Protect him when I am not there.
Tezuka looked thoroughly skeptical, with his eye brows creased and face adorned with a frown. For a moment, Yuuta thought he saw a look of recognition. "Amnesia?"
"I'm not sure. Probably, probably not." The clock was ticking loudly and sweat rolled down from Yuuta's neck. He shivered at the instance. Even if he had an hour to prepare himself for this conversation it was apparently not enough. Stopping, he let Tezuka grasp the implications of all this. Watch over him.
They both took on a pensive air, and Tezuka had gone from skepticism to unreadable in three seconds flat. "Why are you telling this to me? Why not go directly to a doctor?"
/Because You and I both care for him. Love him. /Yuuta shook his head, slightly in frustration. "I don't think he even understands it himself."
The frown on Tezuka's face still hadn't lifted with the explanation. Thoughtful for a few more minutes, Tezuka leaned on the back rest and slumped a bit. Sighing, he pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes. Thinking, just thinking about what the older Fuji would do.
"And we both know why you, Tezuka-san." was Yuuta's final statement on the matter, as if giving him full responsibility for what was to come next. Give him the best. He tried not to give off an expectant air, but had trouble doing so. He looked up to both men - his brother and his brother's captain. But more than anything else now, Fuji Syuusuke was still his nii-san. Yuuta knew what Syuusuke needed was not a dog that would hound him continuously. More than anything else, he knew Syuusuke needed help from this man who was thinking things over across the table. Yuuta would make sure Syuusuke got it. After all that's what brothers are for. Support.
Something beeped twice, and later Yuuta would realize it was Tezuka's wrist watch. Tezuka stood up after letting up the frown on his face and tapping his wrist. "I'll do what I can."
Somehow with those words Yuuta could now feel at ease. After all he didn't really have a plan. Because try as I might I will never be able to. /An acute pain started in him when the idea his brother needed someone he wasn't slowly crystallized in his mind. "I'll trust you on that Tezuka-san." Yuuta's stance became slack as he too had sort of lazed away on the chair. The pain in him subsided. He couldn't be selfish now. He had been too much a few years ago. Waving a good-bye to the man, he whispered, "Besides I like you a lot better than Rowe-san." /And because You know he deserves nothing less.
If Tezuka heard that last part, he didn't know.
Tezuka prepared to leave the office and went to talk to the secretary and tried not to make any references to yesterday's lunch. He heard snips of the conversation the woman had while he signed out (-- We'll call you if anything happens, Fujii-san.) and couldn't help being curious. Being the sensible man that he was he didn't bother to ask. There were lots of Fujiis out there.
As he was about to go, Maya called after him. "Tezuka-kun!" He grimaced. "Good thing you're here", She sighed in relief. Rummaging through her desk she got two file folders, checked it contents and handed it to him. "Atobe-sama suggested letting you be part of the decision if they should accept these people into the merger project."
Looking at the names on the tabs, he got an idea. He smiled and managed to surprise the lady with the desk job. Maya, all pouty and cutesy acting, said, "Ne Tezuka-kun, you should smile at me more often."
Tezuka looked at the woman and gave it some thought, "I just might. Good-night Maya-san." Figuring out what happened in Syuusuke's four years abroad might not be so hard.
End Chapter 4