Title: Portrait of a Soul
Pairing: Tezuka + Fuji
Summary: Fuji collects souls, and Tezuka is content
Warnings: Um. Fluff, maybe?
Disclaimer: I only own the words on the page and the idea. Tezuka, Fuji, and all others belong to Konomi-sensei. I am poor. Please don’t sue.
A/N: Happy White Day, Trinity Black! It’s mostly gen-fic, but if you squint, there might be more than friendship?
Pink petals blanketed the ground and swirled prettily in the breeze. Sunlight trickled through the canopy of sakura blossoms, catching on drops of water left over from the rain the night before and shattering into a multitude of color. Peace seemed to emanate from the surrounding scenery, only briefly disturbed by the whirring of a shutter from the shade.
Tezuka waited patiently a few feet away as Fuji flitted through the trees, ephemeral as a wood nymph, snapping pictures of anything that caught his fancy. Their bags lay beside Tezuka on the grass, all but forgotten by his companion. He smiled slightly, an indiscernible quirk of his lips, as he watched Fuji pause.
A squirrel clung to the trunk of a sakura tree before scurrying away at the click of Fuji’s camera. Fuji turned and smiled at Tezuka before picking his way through the foliage to where he sat.
“Did you know,” the younger boy said as he approached, “that I collect the souls of living objects with my camera?”
Tezuka merely stared calmly, face betraying nothing. “Do you truly believe in such a superstition, Fuji?”
The other boy shrugged the question off and sat on the grass beside him. “Would you give me your soul, Tezuka?”
Such odd questions were commonplace between them, and while they had startled him in the beginning, he could read between the lines of his companion’s curiously worded questions. “You have plenty of pictures of me, Fuji.”
He knew his answer wouldn’t satisfy the other boy, but it was an answer nonetheless. Fuji preferred candid photographs to posed portraits, claiming that there was something more to them. A living quality, Fuji had said, and Tezuka understood without understanding what his friend had meant.
“Yes, but they don’t show Tezuka,” came the reply, and Tezuka frowned.
“Then who do they show?” he asked because it was expected.
There was a pause as the wind picked up, scattering pink flowers in its wake. Fingers gently brushed through his hair, and he turned in mild surprise to find Fuji staring at him thoughtfully, a pink petal held carefully between his fingers.
“Captain,” Fuji said thoughtfully.
Tezuka blinked slowly. “Yes?”
Fuji smiled then, chuckling softly and shaking his head. “Captain is who I have pictures of,” he clarified. “I want pictures of Tezuka.”
He almost felt the need to point out that he and ‘captain’ were the same, but time with Fuji had taught him that distinctions were present even if one did not notice them. Instead, he turned his attention to the sky and waited.
The rustling of branches and the faint chattering of birds were the only sound between them for a while, but he didn’t mind. He was never one to use words for the sake of using them; that was Fuji’s area of expertise. The other boy shifted beside him so that their hands sat side by side on the grass, almost but not quite touching. Tezuka entertained the idea of moving his hand, but decided against it. Fuji had made no move to try more than placing their hands next to each other. There was no need to take it away.
“Yuuta and I used to stop by this park on our way to the street courts when we first moved here,” Fuji said suddenly, voice so soft it nearly floated away on the wind. There wasn’t any sadness or bitterness present, only a warm fondness that Tezuka rarely heard when Fuji spoke of his brother.
“Mm,” he said, because to ask the obvious question would destroy the current atmosphere, and Tezuka was enjoying sitting on the grass with Fuji.
“Ne, Tezuka?” a voice whispered in his ear and he stiffened.
“Yes, Fuji?” he replied, careful not to move. Fuji took the opportunity to place his head on Tezuka’s shoulder. The soft hair brushed against his cheek with each of the other boy’s breaths.
“What are you doing for Golden Week?”
“I will be at tennis practice, as will you,” he answered sternly and without hesitation.
“Yes, but I asked Tezuka, not Captain,” Fuji pointed out softly.
Tezuka sighed and shook his head. “I will be at practice,” he repeated. “I will be there as the captain, and therefore as myself.”
He felt Fuji sigh into his shoulder before the other boy scooted closer. “Tezuka is no fun,” Fuji pouted. “You need to learn to have fun over the holidays.”
“Tennis is fun,” Tezuka pointed out, closing his eyes and enjoying the warmth of the sun and Fuji pressed against his side.
“Eiji will be disappointed,” Fuji said quietly.
“About what?” he asked, because it was what Fuji wanted.
“Will you make us practice the entire week?” Fuji asked instead.
“Yes,” Tezuka replied confidently. “If we are to compete in Nationals and win, we must practice twice as much and twice as hard.”
“That is why,” Fuji said, and Tezuka frowned, confused.
“He had hoped we would have a few days off,” Fuji clarified. “He wants to take Momoshiro and Echizen to the amusement park. It seems Momoshiro and Eiji made a bet over whether or not Echizen is scared of roller coasters.”
“Ah,” Tezuka replied. “I suppose if we practice hard enough in the beginning of the week, a few days off to relax won’t do any harm.”
“Maybe I can capture Tezuka’s soul over the break,” Fuji murmured, and Tezuka smiled.
“Would you like to go hiking, then?” he asked. The weather was warm enough, and the scenery would be enough to keep Fuji from getting bored. Besides, he enjoyed the other boy’s quiet companionship enough to endure a few pictures.
Fuji remained quiet for a moment before replying. “I’d like that.”
“There are a few trails we could take that would make some nice landscape photographs,” Tezuka added thoughtfully.
“Ah,” Fuji said, pulling away momentarily only to prop his chin on Tezuka’s shoulder instead. “I see how you’re thinking,” he continued, amused. “You think that if I’m occupied capturing the soul of the landscape, you’ll keep yours intact. That, Tezuka, is sneaky.”
Tezuka smirked up at the sky. “I merely acknowledged that there are some things that might interest you from a photographer’s point of view.”
Fuji laughed. “Ne, Tezuka?”
“Look over there,” Fuji directed, and Tezuka moved his head to see what it was that Fuji wanted to show him.
There was a click and the sudden whirring of a shutter closing before Tezuka saw the camera.
“I have your soul now, Tezuka,” Fuji announced happily, pulling away to stand up and offering Tezuka a hand.
He frowned up at Fuji, taking the proffered hand and standing.
“Now, now, Tezuka,” Fuji chided gently, smiling. “You never said I couldn’t take a picture of you here.”
“I never said you could, either,” Tezuka replied.
Fuji shrugged, the smile never leaving his face. “I’ll give you a copy if you’d like.”
Tezuka picked their bags up off the grass and handed Fuji his.
The next day, Tezuka found a white envelope on his desk. His name was printed in neat kanji on the front. He paused a moment before picking it up and opening it.
There was a picture and a slip of paper. He pulled out the photo first and looked at it, already knowing what it would be but curious as to how it turned out.
He was smiling slightly in the picture, eyes open and unaware that his friend had been tricking him. Fuji was next to him, grinning widely, eyes dancing in amusement.
Tezuka shook his head and placed the photograph back in the envelope, extracting the slip of paper.
Now you have a piece of my soul. –Fuji
He smiled and placed the envelope and note into his book bag. He would have to thank Fuji for the picture later.