Pairing: Tezuka x Fuji
Word Count: 2,913 words
Rating: PG-13 or so...
Summary: Tezuka Kunimitsu isn’t an active agent, but he’s the only one the Space Crime and Safety Agency trusts enough with this job.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
A/N: Credit where credit is due: M , thank you for the beta! A, I hate you <3 You know why.
‘Tezuka,’ the loud voice hollers through the Seigaku Space Crime and Safety Agency (SCASA). Tezuka Kunimitsu straightens his tie, looks up from the files on his desk. ‘Ma’am?’
Ryuuzaki, leader of the active squad of agents, puts her hands on her hips. ‘I want you to go to the Hyoutei base. I received an anonymous call. Akutsu might be on that base. Those guys there,’ she jerks one thumb over her shoulder where the offices of the active agents are, ‘wouldn’t understand the word subtle if it ran them over with a bulldozer.’
Tezuka clears his throat, raises one eyebrow.
‘Do anything you need to, but find me information on him. Anything that’ll be enough to imprison him.’
Tezuka nods. He’s not an active agent, mostly just writes reports and manages the operations. He locks his files away and leaves his office. In the weaponry, they look at him strangely, but his ID is valid.
He takes three knives and a ion-gamma gun. The agency recently restocked, the gun is absolutely deadly now. Even a grazing shot will kill. He runs one finger along each knife before slipping them away.
In his quarters, he exchanges his three-pieced suit for combat boots, jeans and a simple blue shirt that stretches over his pectoral and hugs his biceps. All agents are required to train eleven hours a week. It’s a welcome change to all the paper-pushing.
In the RIC (Research, Identity, Camouflage) department, they give him a new spaceport IC and the code for his quarters at Hyoutei. No one wishes him luck.
The flight to Hyoutei takes three hours. Tezuka spends them sitting in the cargo compartment of a small transporter ship, one knee drawn to his chest. The Hyoutei syndicate can’t know of his sudden appearance on the base. The fake spaceport will protect him, but once they know he’s new on the base, they’ll be suspicious.
The light of the stars outside barely pierces through the darkness of space. Tezuka presses one hand flat against the reinforced glass of the window. He shivers. Surrounded by the artificial atmosphere on Seigaku, he has forgotten how cold space is. It always finds ways to remind him.
The members of the transporter’s crew leer at him whenever they pass. He threatens them with glares and doesn’t speak. In the silence they leave, Tezuka thinks of his mother who died in space and of his father who was an active agent and corrupt.
Ryuuzaki gives the orders and he obeys, but it’s Tezuka who controls the agents.
When Tezuka first enters them, the quarters on Hyoutei are dark and empty except for a bed and a build-in closet. He looks around, lets his bag slide down to the ground. The carpet is grey, the walls white. Tezuka sits down on the bed, takes out the documents he took with him and begins planning.
Hyoutei is famous for its bars visited by all those the SCASA would love to see locked away and Akutsu falls into that category. Tezuka never drinks much, he wonders if he has any resistance against alcohol at all.
He unfolds a map. It’s a cumbrous and awkward task and he smoothes down the edges as he lays it out on the grey carpet. The computer certainly has this exact map, could project it to the floor, but Tezuka likes the feel of paper under his fingers. He even takes notes.
With red marker, he circles the bars he knows of, a big black cross for his quarters. Tomorrow, he’ll visit the bar furthest from his quarters. Tezuka knows well not to draw attention to his whereabouts.
He sends Ryuuzaki a message that he arrived well. He calls her “aunt”, it’s less suspicious that way.
Later, Tezuka lies still in the bed, the sheets around him cold and starched and all he can think about is space.
Tezuka sits down at the bar, the chair creaks. The air is filled with smoke and Tezuka can’t breathe. The bartender, a fat man with stubble and slick hair, squints his eyes suspiciously. Tezuka runs one hand over his smooth chin. The contact lenses burn in his eyes.
‘What are you, a fucking scholar?’ the bartender asks when he serves him, gives Tezuka a one-over and glances at the beer he ordered, ‘Or maybe just a pussy?’
The man on the chair next to Tezuka laughs, loud and deep and snorting. It makes his belly wobble and for a moment, Tezuka stares appalled at the dark trail of hair he can make out under the thin white shirt.
‘I lost my job,’ is the first thing Tezuka can think of. Only screw-ups, gamblers and other offenders frequent this kind of bar. He picked it for that reason.
‘Poor puppy,’ the bartender says and grins, licks his lips. ‘Here, have this instead,’ he takes the beer Tezuka hasn’t touched yet and replaces it with a shot glass.
Tezuka wants to protest, but the door slams open before he can even open his mouth. Akutsu enters and Tezuka’s eyes flicker to the gun Akutsu carries on his belt.
‘Right,’ he mumbles. Better not blow it, don’t raise suspicion, Ryuuzaki’s voice says in his head and Tezuka drowns the liquor in one gulp.
He sets the glass down, wipes his mouth. The bartender grins.
Tezuka tilts his head and draws his chair closer to the table. Akutsu is leaning against the wall on the opposite side of the table.
‘Also, you’re not allowed to ask questions. Ask and you have to draw a card. Get it?’ Tezuka nods and the man smiles. ‘It’s a card game, but it has to do a lot with speed and concentration. We normally start with ten people, bets on who’ll win. You gotta bet to play.’
Betting is forbidden by law of the SCASA. Tezuka nods and the bartender comes, places another shot glass in front of him and then serves the rest of the table. Akutsu smokes.
‘You don’t get to play tonight, we’re already ten. But you’ll come back another time, right?’
Tezuka glares at the shot glass. Do anything you need to, Ryuuzaki said. Tezuka blinks up at Akutsu.
‘Yeah. Yeah, I’ll be back.’
Tezuka takes a deep breath and forces his shoulders to relax. He pushes the door open, walks into the bar. ‘Hey,’ he says and the bartender, Jeffrey, nods at him and slams down a shot glass on the table. The liquor spills over.
Nervousness and guilt curl in his stomach. Tezuka drowns the liquor and looks up. ‘I want to play tonight.’ Someone whoops. Jeffrey raises one eyebrow and grins. ‘We’ll tell you who plays. The minimum stake for betting is twenty quid. You have that much, even though you lost your job?’
‘Yeah. I have some money stashed away, from before.’
Jeffrey laughs and smacks Tezuka’s shoulder, but his eyes remain cold the whole time. ‘Good luck, boy.’
Tezuka swallows. His father gambled.
The first time Tezuka plays, he asks a question, doesn’t have any aces and only one seven. The men holler and laugh and make him draw card after card. His reflexes are quick, though, and when someone throws a ten onto the table, he is never the last to hit it. When the game is over and he has lost his twenty quid, Jeff clasps his back and grins at him, wide. His teeth are yellow.
Tezuka grins back, feels like the muscles in his face are too heavy for the task. He promises he’ll be back, just like he did before.
Once he’s back in his quarters, he contacts Ryuuzaki. She’s busy and he doesn’t tell her he gambled.
Akutsu watched the whole time.
The third time Tezuka plays, he’s not the youngest anymore. Male, short and lithe, probably knows how to fight, Tezuka’s brain provides when he sits down on the round table they’re playing on.
The knife itches where he slipped it into one of his boots. ‘Hi, I’m Fuji,’ the other man smiles, eyes hidden under light brown bangs. Tezuka’s eyes fix on the long scar running from Fuji’s temple to his chin.
‘Tezuka,’ he says and nods. Jeffrey claps his hands, whistles and calls, ‘Let’s start, no chit-chat. Time for your bets.’
Fuji places thirty squids on his own win. Akutsu sits at the bar and drinks.
Tezuka furrows his brows when he concentrates. Fuji smiles.
They are ten minutes into the game when the first guy, Akihi, throws his cards on the table, says ‘Fuck it, knew Fuji was too good to beat,’ and lights a cigarette. Someone else nods and Jeff rolls his eyes. He’s standing behind Fuji, hands on the back of the chair.
Fuji is fast, his hand is always the first to slam down on the table when someone throws a ten. More often than not, Tezuka’s hand lands right on top of it before anyone else reacts. When Tezuka’s hand grazes his, Fuji breathes out and the air moves his hair. His eyes are blue. A second later, Fuji bows his head and smiles again. Tezuka feels the other’s hands slam down on his.
Fuji throws an ace and one guy, wiry and with no hair at all, shakes his head and tips his chair back. ‘I drop out, no fun in this.’ Fuji’s smile doesn’t widen. Tezuka shifts in his seat, feels Fuji’s leg press against his. He shifts again, misses a beat and has to draw a card. Jeffrey laughs, pats Fuji’s shoulder and gets Akutsu another drink.
Tezuka tries to follow Akutsu’s every movement, but Fuji increases the speed of his game and Tezuka squares his shoulders. His eyes are dry from the contacts and the smoke. Other people stop playing, crowding around the table. Tezuka focuses on the game. Fuji’s hands seem small and delicate. Tezuka sees the calluses on them, he has the same on his hands from handling a gun.
Jeff comes back, but the next time Tezuka looks up from his cards, he’s talking to Akutsu quietly. Akutsu jerks his head toward Fuji slightly and Jeff shakes his head. Tezuka blinks and throws in a card. Fuji draws one and for a moment, it seems as though Tezuka is gaining the upper hand, he’s holding only two cards now. Fuji throws a seven and Tezuka has to draw two cards. They’re even again. They’re also the only ones still playing.
Tezuka runs one hand through his hair and screws his eyes shut for one moment. When he opens them again, Fuji is smiling down on him. Tezuka stands up, looks down.
‘Great game,’ Fuji says and holds out his hand. Tezuka nods and takes it. This close, he sees a fine white scar running over Fuji’s left arm.
Akutsu stands up, pushes over to them. He grabs Tezuka’s cards, which are still lying on the table. ‘What do you think you’re doing? You haven’t finished the game.’ He shoves the cards against Tezuka’s chest, tilts his head and glares.
Tezuka straightens up, a reflex against ducking. He can’t screw this up, can’t raise suspicion. Fuji looks up through his bangs, smiles. ‘We ended in a draw. The bar should be long closed and we’re both done playing.’
Akutsu snarls, but Jeff steps beside him, nods silently and Akutsu let’s the cards fall to the ground and walks away.
Tezuka and Fuji leave together, then part without another word.
The door to the bar opens easily for the first time. Oiled, Tezuka thinks and orders a beer. Jeffrey gives him liquor.
Akutsu sits on the playing table, feet up on another seat and cards in his hand, lazily shuffling them. He raises one eyebrow at Tezuka and grins. Tezuka nods at him and finds a chair in the corner farthest from Akutsu.
‘You not playin’ today?’ Jeff smirks, runs one hands through his greasy hair, wipes the hand on his jeans. The yearning to be back at the SCASA hits Tezuka and he blinks up at Jeff, shakes his head. He was never happy there, but it’s better than here. He curls his hands into fists, takes a deep breath and grins up at Jeffrey. ‘Nah.’
Jeff grins back. ‘Well, fine. Akutsu’ll play. You’re missing the chance of your life, boy. He organises the plays, sure, but doesn’t play often himself. Well. Your loss.’
Tezuka nods, absentminded, while relief floods through him, makes him light-headed. The microphone he wears in his collar must’ve recorded that; his job here is done.
Organising a gamble is more than enough to get Akutsu arrested.
Tezuka folds the last shirt and puts it into his bag, takes a pair of jeans just when the alarm rings. Tezuka gets up, checks the spyhole. In front of his door Jeff, Akutsu and three men Tezuka has never seen wait. They carry knifes. Tezuka swallows, suppresses the surge of panic and adrenaline rushing through his body. His hands tremble when he grabs two knifes himself, slips them into his boots.
He’s smiling when he opens his door.
‘Hi, Jeff, Akutsu,’ he says, nods at them, ‘What are you doing here?’ He lets his eyes shift to the three men, forces his shoulders to drop a little.
Akutsu grins. He hasn’t shaved in the last few days. ‘You plan on leaving us?’ He gestures towards the half-packed bags.
Tezuka shakes his head. ‘Nah, I just,’ he hesitates, ‘can’t afford living here anymore, you know? Having lost my job…’
Jeff laughs, deep and cheerful. Tezuka’s stomach lurches. ‘Well, you have your chance now, boy. You can earn lots of money tonight. Just you and Fuji. You’ll play, right?’
‘Is that what you’re here for?’ Tezuka makes his eyes dart to the thugs, his shoulders slump a bit. ‘I would’ve come anyway.’
‘Oh, but the last time you and Fuji played, it ended in a draw,’ Akutsu spits out. ‘There are no draws in this game. So, we still have to examine a winner. People are waiting to hear the stakes. People are waiting to hear who won, if they won. Do you get me?’
Fuji is already sitting on the table when they enter the room. Jeff places one hand on Tezuka’s back, pushes him towards it. Tezuka has to force himself not to arch away from the touch.
Akihi shuffles the cards, grins up at Tezuka. ‘There you go, boy,’ he says, ‘thought I’d never get my money back.’
‘Yeah,’ Tezuka mumbles and sits down. Fuji has a new scar, an angry red line that crosses the white scar tissue already running through his face. He catches Tezuka’s gaze, touches the scar and beams. ‘I have the most interesting job.’
Akihi groans and rolls his eyes. They have been playing for two hours straight now. Tezuka’s eyes hurt and Fuji’s smile hasn’t wavered. Jeff serves them more liquor that neither of them touches, their concentration fully on the game. Fuji almost lost four times, not as often as Tezuka, but close enough. They’re equal.
‘Dude, seriously, what’s this all about? This is a fast game, someone should’ve won by now.’ Akihi runs one hand through his hair. Akutsu leans against the table, one foot tapping on the ground. His arms are crossed, his jaw set.
‘Are you sabotaging this game?’
They don’t look up, Tezuka throws an ace and Fuji counters. ‘No,’ they answer simultaneously.
‘Well, I think you do,’ Akutsu’s voice goes quiet. ‘Whoa,’ Jeff says and lifts his hands, ‘Just let the boys play, I’m sure it’ll work out.’
An hour later, there’s still no winner.
Tezuka grabs Fuji’s wrist a second time, glares. ‘Don’t be stupid,’ he shouts over the sound of a chair cracking, ‘they think we’re partners, we’re in this together and we better get out now.’
Fuji dodges a hit and kicks Akihi in the gut. Tezuka pushes his elbow back into someone’s ribs. ‘Fuck you,’ the man says and faints. In another corner of the room, Akutsu and Jeff are arguing, occasionally interrupted by flying fists or bottles.
Tezuka tightens his grip, pulls and this time, Fuji follows him out of the bar. They only stop for one moment, Tezuka runs one hand through his hair and Fuji grins. ‘Gee, what a mess.’
Someone called Hyoutei’s police. Men in green uniforms are rushing through the streets, towards the bar, towards them. Fuji’s eyes widen. ‘Shit,’ he whispers and slams Tezuka into the wall of a house.
Tezuka bucks up, twists one arm and almost lands a blow. Fuji kisses him. Tezuka hears one policemen curse all homosexuals; Fuji’s lips are warm and soft against his. He stares at Fuji, though their closeness makes his vision unfocused and blurry.
When Fuji shifts, one leg pressed up between Tezuka’s, his eyes slip closed. One hand leaves bruises on Fuji’s wrist, the other tangles in his hair. He can feel the up and down of Fuji’s chest against his, every breath, until melts together with the other sensations.
The echo of the policemen’s boots clicking on the ground trails off and Fuji draws back, gives a quick grin. A flash of blue eyes, and then he’s gone. Tezuka watches the lithe body jog away in the dark alley.
He walks back to his quarters, calls Ryuuzaki. ‘Send someone to pick me up,’ he says and settles down to wait, one hand on his lips.