|12_fics The Last of the Amnesia arc
||[Aug. 9th, 2006|12:05 am]
Title: The Other Sides|
Set + Theme: 2 + 11
Fandom: Prince of Tennis
Pairing: Tezuka Kunimitsu/Fuji Syuusuke
Genre(s): Angst, Romance
Word Count: 1143
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: The last part of the Amnesia Arc. This is for reddwarfer, just because.
There are two kinds of darkness.
This is what he believes.
There is the kind of darkness that is viscous and thick, seeping into your mouth and choking you. The kind of darkness that spawned the monsters that haunt your dreams: the faceless women, the sharp-toothed animals clawing at you until you are nothing but carrion.
And then there is the kind of darkness that settles on you like a blanket, soft and calming, the kind that comes when you close your eyes and you begin to drift out of yourself and into your dreams.
"How is he?"
The doctor says nothing and looks at Tezuka searchingly. None of them are used to this Tezuka, who sounds so strident and respectful, the Tezuka Fuji fought so hard and so terribly to have back. The only Tezuka Kunimitsu they know is the one with the wary smiles and the silence, the one who stared off into space as Fuji nuzzled his neck.
"We pumped his stomach," the doctor reaches up a hand to massage the bridge of his nose in exhaustion. "And he seems to be reacting well to the medicine."
Tezuka nods and without another word enter Fuji's room. Yuuta stands by the window, pale and silent. Yumiko sits beside Fuji's bed, clutching tightly onto a string of wooden rosary beads. She looks up as Tezuka enters.
Tezuka looks at her hands, how they close convulsively around the beads while he stares. Her lips move with a sort of rhythm, and the cadence of her prayer seems to cast a spell around the room.
He doesn't understand. From what he remembers, Yumiko is the one who can foretell the future. Her religion condemns that. And yet here she is, clutching onto her comatose brother's hand while she prays and prays for him to wake up.
They wait in silence.
At night, Tezuka sleeps beside Fuji. On the same bed, with his arms wrapped loosely around the delicate bones of Fuji's frame.
If Fuji's condition didn't require hourly check-ups, he would do more than sleep. As it is, he feigns slumber when the nurses come to note the intravenous feed and any symptoms Fuji might be displaying, symptoms that show them he's coming back, or that he' leaving for good.
When the nurses are gone he traces the structure of Fuji's face with fingers shaking with suppressed arousal, and a bleak sort of fear.
Fuji's parents come to see their son, and Tezuka sits outside the door on a hard plastic bench as he hears them talk to the doctor. He doesn't mean to eavesdrop, but Fuji's mother's voice penetrates through the solid wood of the door.
Something about another hospital, closer to home and away from that boy reaches Tezuka's ears and he grits his teeth because if he doesn't he might do something he'll regret.
(Yudan sezu ni ikou and all that.)
There are two kinds of fear.
One is the exhilarated kind of fear, the one that grips you when you ride a roller-coaster, the kind of almost-anticipation that you get when you tell the one you love that you want to be with them forever.
The other kind is the one that follows you when you walk down unfamiliar street, the one that swallows your words as they struggle their way out of your system. The other fear is something that controls you. It keeps you moving forward because it frightens you about going back.
Against his will, Fuji is moved out of the sanatorium.
When he visits the hospital, he goes in search of Fuji's siblings before going to Fuji's room.
He finds Yumiko in the hospital chapel, kneeling. Yuuta is in the corner, lighting candle after candle after candle.
Both of them are silent, and none of them turn to look at him as he settles himself on a pew. The air smells of incense and wilting flowers. It smells like a funeral.
Tezuka tries not to think of that.
He retreats to the hospital cafeteria.
Yuuta comes in about five minutes later, face drawn and pale, bags under his eyes like he hasn't had sleep in a month.
He thinks Yuuta hasn't seen him but the other boy takes the seat right across him, cradling a steaming cup of coffee in his hands.
"Aniki hasn't woken up," he says conversationally to Tezuka. His searching gaze belies the casual tone of his voice and Tezuka lifts his eyes to meet the younger boy's.
"Aa," is all he says. He doesn't mention that the nurses have him on speed-dial, that he spends his nights sometimes in the waiting room, dozing on plastic benches and subsisting on a diet of canned tea and foil-wrapped microwave meals.
"'Nee-san's doing a novena to Saint Jude," Yuuta continues, taking a sip from the rapidly cooling cup in his shaking hands. "The patron saint of the impossible, you know?"
"He's going to come back," Tezuka bites out. Yuuta looks up in surprise.
"Oh, she's not praying for Aniki to wake up. She knows he will. He still has a lot of time," Yuuta makes a face and pushes away his coffee.
Despite himself, Tezuka is curious, and he asks, "So what is she praying for, if it's not for him to wake up?"
"That Otou-san and Okaa-san will let you be together when he does."
There are two kinds of faith.
One is the blind, aimless faith, fueled by fear. This is the faith that impels people to jump off building, to do stupid things for their salvation.
The other is focused and based on trust. Trust in the unknown, all-powerful. This faith is all-encompassing, and lives on the knowledge that all are saved, despite everything they've done.
Yumiko tells Tezuka to come to the hospital on a Saturday, just before five o'clock.
She doesn't tell her parents. She still has four days to go on her novena.
Watching from the plate-glass window that is embedded in the door, Yumiko watches her vision unfold. And then she turns and slowly makes the sign of the cross.
Fuji opens his eyes and the first thing he sees is Tezuka.
Before Fuji can say anything, Tezuka beats him to it.
The first word that Fuji hears after his long bout of unconsciousness is this:
And he watches Tezuka's face unfold into a smile that is both a reminder to a past he had thought was forgotten, and a promise to a future that lays before them both like something wonderful.
Fuji fastens his arms around Tezuka's neck and he pulls the other boy down so their lips meet. As Tezuka angles his head so their lips slide together fully, Fuji thinks, we're back, we're back.
And oh, it's going to be so great.
I'm not really content how I ended this, but I decided to put it up all the same. Thank you to everyone who read and reviewed the earlier parts of this.