Summary: The second button of a boy's uniform is for the one he cares for. Tezuka's is gone and Fuji wants to know who he gave it to.
Warnings: It's smutty. The end made me cry.
Disclaimer: None of Prince of Tennis is mine.
A/N: I know nothing of tennis apparently. Of all the tennis tournaments around, the one that came to mind was the U.S. Open. Wiki was very helpful in providing some information on that. Wiki was also helpful in giving me the name of the championship that Konomi based the story on. Also my beta was helpful in finding out for me whether or not Tezuka had ever been social while in school. He wasn't, not to the extent that some of us write him. And she humbled me by correcting my writing many times. This is the result. Thank you, M. Any errors, grammatical, or otherwise, are solely mine.
At the age of 14 and 15, respectively, Fuji and Tezuka and the rest of the Seigaku tennis team accomplished their first goal in life. That year they won the All-Japan Junior High Tennis Championship.
Tezuka Kunimitsu had to nominate his successor and two more choices in case Ryuzaki sensei thought his first choice wasn’t adequate. Instinctively he’d known his first choice. It was now a matter of Echizen and the rest of the team accepting the news.
Exams were taken, passed and schools picked. All the boys were going off in different directions. When graduation day finally came, all the girls graduating were excited. This was the day to get the boys’ buttons. Only the special girls would get the coveted second button and they would flirt, cajole and beg for it.
In particular demand were the buttons of the regular members of all the clubs. The tennis club members, having taken the school to Nationals and won, were hounded most of all.
The ceremony ended and the boys were quickly swarmed. Tezuka had wanted to keep his jacket in perfect condition but there was no helping this tradition. He had to honor it.
He stood up and because of his height he could see over the girls’ heads easily. They were advancing quickly.
Before he was even aware of it, his buttons were torn off. There were girls still coming up to him to ask for the second button and they all walked away, pouting and wondering who the lucky girl was.
He noticed that the other boys around him were in the same condition. Their jackets were open. Tezuka knew he looked the same as them except he wasn’t smiling. He was looking over the crowd for Fuji. He wanted to see him right away.
He noticed Eiji but no Fuji with him. Then he saw Inui and still no sign of Fuji.
Tezuka heard his voice before he saw his face, “Hey, Tezuka. Who are you looking for?”
He turned around to face Fuji, his jacket hanging open, “I was looking for no one.” A lie.
“Tsk. You looked like you were looking for some… Your buttons are gone!” Fuji looked crestfallen.
“Oh, the girls took all my buttons away. Yours are gone too.” Tezuka pointed to Fuji’s jacket.
“Yeah, it couldn’t be helped. Who got your second button?”
Tezuka could lie again. It went against everything he believed in but he didn’t want to give that button in this crowded place, “I’ll tell you…”
“Fujiko! I’m ready, let’s go!” Eiji came bounding out of nowhere, grabbed Fuji by the wrist and dragged him away. “Sorry, Tezuka. We gotta go!”
Fuji smiled an apology and waved goodbye. This would be the last time Tezuka saw Fuji. It would be years before they met again.
Tezuka had graduated from business school with top honors. His tennis career had slowed down during high school. He had still given it his all despite his injury.
None of this stopped him from watching Echizen and Fuji’s tennis matches.
Echizen was on his way to surpassing his father in skill. He still couldn’t beat him at tennis and that still remained his goal in life. Fuji had continued to play tennis in the same way he’d always played. His style infuriated critics and dazzled the masses. Both men had gotten better but their attitudes stayed the same as in junior high.
This particular year Fuji had been invited to the U.S. Open and Tezuka made every effort to make the trip to New York.
Fuji’s match was almost everything Tezuka had expected. He watched the other player, who was very skilled, reduced almost to tears. Fuji was relentless in his play and didn’t give an inch. There were the usual counters. Tezuka felt cheated. He knew Fuji could play with more skill than he was showing today.
Tezuka wasn’t surprised that Fuji kept winning all his matches. Fuji seemed bound to win this Open, leaving the United States without another trophy for the men’s division.
When Fuji won against his opponent, Tezuka decided to leave. As he was getting up, his and Fuji’s eyes met briefly but Tezuka quickly turned around and broke contact. He wasn’t sure if that had really happened or not but he kept walking.
Once outside the tennis center, Tezuka’s name was called out.
“Tezuka-san! Please wait!”
Tezuka stopped at the mention of his name and turned around to wait for the owner of that voice. He was surprised to see a young Japanese man hurrying up to him.
He approached Tezuka, panting and sweating.
“I’m sorry, Tezuka-san.” He bowed. “I’m Tagamuchi Hazu and I was instructed to give you this note.”
While bowing Tagamuchi extended his hands and in them was a folded piece of paper. Tezuka’s heart beat faster in anticipation. He took the note and Tagamuchi straightened up.
“Do you have to wait for a response?”
“I wasn’t told but if you wish, I’ll wait for one, Tezuka-san.”
Tezuka opened the note. It was short and to the point. He couldn’t help the smile that blossomed on his face.
“Tagamuchi-san, please tell him that I’ll be there at the appointed time and place.”
“Thank you, Tagamuchi-san.”
They both bowed and went their separate ways.
Tezuka was nervous. It had been a long time since he’d talked to Fuji face to face. He dreaded and anticipated the encounter. He’d followed Fuji’s career closely and had relished his secret connection to the other man. Not a lot of people knew he had been his captain in junior high.
He arrived at the hotel Fuji was staying in. As soon as he walked in, Tagamuchi approached him.
“Tezuka-san! Good evening.” The young man bowed and so did Tezuka. He guessed Tagamuchi must be in his early 20s.
“Good evening, Tagamuchi-san.”
“I will now take you to him. Please follow me.”
Tezuka followed. He put his left hand in his trouser pocket and felt the precious object at the bottom, past the handkerchief, just to reassure himself. It had been 10 long years since they’d graduated from junior high. The elevator ride to the top floor was spent in silence.
He wondered what connected him to Fuji besides tennis and junior high. He wasn’t very sure himself. He didn’t socialize with anybody in school and it wasn’t until his junior year in university that he had started dating. His first and only girlfriend had tried her hardest to get him to be less introverted but failed.
The elevator announced their arrival to the top floor and they stepped out. The hallway was wide and pleasantly decorated. Tagamuchi approached the door to the right and rang the doorbell.
“It’s Tagamuchi and Tezuka-san!”
Tagamuchi opened the door and let Tezuka in, “Please do go in. He’s waiting for you.”
Tezuka walked inside and noticed the shoes lined up in the foyer. Tagamuchi bid him a good night and left. He took his shoes off and lined them up along with the others. Fuji must be having visitors, he thought.
He decided to continue walking and called out his name.
He walked into a sumptuous living room. This suite was fit for a king. From behind him he heard a voice he had tried hard to forget. He kept telling himself that only tennis mattered.
Tezuka turned around and in front of him was a man who looked like the Fuji he had known in junior high but taller, tanned and with hair the color of chestnuts. It was obvious he was out in the sun a lot. The voice had changed but Tezuka could still recognize it. The TV specials did him no justice. He looked better in person than he could ever remember seeing on a small screen.
Fuji waved a hand in front of Tezuka, “Hello? Were you expecting somebody else?”
Tezuka blinked, “Oh sorry. Hello, Fuji. It’s been a long time.”
“That’s quite the understatement. It’s been far too long. Please have a seat.” Fuji smiled and pointed to the leather couch.
Tezuka looked around and decided to go for the chair. The couch looked like it could swallow him if he sat back.
“Would you like something to drink? Liquor, pop, water? I think there’s milk too if you prefer that?”
“An orange juice if you have it.”
“I do. Let me get that for you.”
Fuji brought him over a glass of juice and in his other hand was a purple liquid that looked like engine sludge warmed over. Tezuka took the proffered glass and held it.
“A toast to our encounter, Tezuka.” Both raised their glasses and drank.
Fuji took the couch and sat back comfortably without getting swallowed up. Tezuka noticed that little detail. He was noticing everything that Fuji was doing. He thought Fuji moved with ease. Even the path he took from where he had appeared to the bar looked as if he’d walked it over and over.
“That looks familiar. Is it one of Inui’s juices?”
“Yes, it is. His drink company sponsors me but this juice is not on the market. This is specially made for me. I asked him to add habanero pepper.”
“I wonder if Inui still tastes his own concoctions before he passes them on to you.”
Fuji then explained how he worked with Inui in creating the juices and what real nutrients needed to go in. Their arrangement worked well for them.
“So tell me what you have been up to in all this time. You vanished from the face of the earth. None of us could find you. Sometimes I’ll see Eiji and Saeki when I’m in Japan but trying to find you was impossible.”
Tezuka blushed. He hadn’t vanished on purpose. After he’d stopped playing, he simply dedicated himself fully to his studies. He didn’t join any other clubs. There was nothing that held his attention the same way tennis had. He proceeded to tell Fuji what he had done in the last 10 years and it took him exactly one minute to tell his tale.
Fuji’s mouth hung open and then closed it, “Is that it? You must’ve practiced that speech over and over until you got it right,” he laughed.
“No, I didn’t practice it. It is accurate, though.”
“Tezuka, that’s been a boring life. I’m sorry that you stopped playing tennis. I had hoped that we could at least meet once on the courts but my hope diminished with time. When you didn’t appear in the tennis scene during high school, I got worried and thought that your injury was keeping you from playing the tennis you love.” Fuji’s face got flushed. Tezuka watched him and wondered why. There was no reason unless the engine sludge was finally taking its toll on Fuji’s body.
Tezuka put his glass down on the coffee table.
“You were watching me today. You flew all the way out here to be in the stands of the U.S. Open. I am honored that you have watched me play. I wish I’d known you were going to show up and I would’ve made better arrangements for us. Sometimes I get some of the guys to join me and it’s always fun to reminisce.”
“I’m always busy with work and I had this vacation coming up. I decided that I could see you play in person at least one more time.” Tezuka was still feeling nervous and seeing Fuji again was making him breathless.
Fuji continued to talk and Tezuka reached for his glass of juice but somehow knocked it over and the juice spilled. Both of them got up quickly, Tezuka apologizing and Fuji walking over to the bar to grab towels.
In his panic, Tezuka took out the handkerchief from his pocket and a button flew out and landed on the glass-topped table, skidding to a halt just as Fuji was walking back.
Both of them stopped in their tracks. Tezuka in horror when he saw the button and Fuji in disbelief since it had been years since he’d seen their old uniform’s button.
Fuji dropped the towels on the carpet and kneeled down to pick up the button.
“Tezuka, is this yours?”
“Eh…yes, it is mine. I’ll take it back now.” Tezuka extended his hand.
Fuji held the button between his thumb and index finger.
“I remember at graduation the girls were manic about getting our second buttons. Yours was gone by the time I met up with you to say goodbye. I asked you who you’d given your button to and you didn’t really answer me. I was disappointed.”
“Your second button was gone too. Can I have it back?”
“Why do you still have it, Tezuka?”
Tezuka put his arm down. He knew Fuji was stubborn and wouldn’t take an elusive answer this time around.
“If you must know, that button was for the person that I care for.”
“That goes without saying which is why I wanted to know who you’d given it to.” Fuji closed his hand around the button.
They were at opposite sides of the table, on their knees, orange juice staining the pristine carpet and both looking at each other in the eyes. Tezuka looked away first.
Fuji got up and stomped away. Tezuka suddenly felt tired. He couldn’t explain away the button now. He knew Fuji wouldn’t be satisfied until he knew the truth. And both knew Tezuka couldn’t lie to save his own life.
Fuji came back and found Tezuka on the same spot. The spilled juice was completely forgotten. Tezuka was still kneeling and debating what to do. He was surprised by the gentle hand that grabbed his wrist and put a velvety box, like the kind you get at a jewelry store, in his hand.
“I hope I’m right. That’s for you.”
Tezuka shook it and it rattled. There was nothing inside but whatever object Fuji was giving him.
Fuji! He was kneeling close to Tezuka. Too close.
He started to speak, almost whisper, in Tezuka’s ear, “As soon as the ceremony was over and before I was swarmed with girls, I tore the second button off my uniform. Eiji watched me and I begged him not to tell anybody what I had done. He has kept his word all these years. I put it in my pocket. That day I was ready to give that button to the person that I loved. I still love. I haven’t stopped thinking of that person in all this time.
"Then I found out that you didn’t have yours anymore. I felt foolish for loving you and kept that button in my pocket until I got home and asked sis for a box. She gave me that blue box in your hands. I never opened it again. It’s yours, Tezuka.” He leaned his head against Tezuka’s arm as he finished his last sentence.
Tezuka was still hung up on ‘I still love’ and did as he was told. Inside was Fuji’s golden second button.
“You love me?” Tezuka was incredulous. “I’m nothing. I failed. I can’t even lift a racket and swing it without pain. I can’t even confess my love for you and you love me?”
“Yes, I’ve been in love with you for far longer than I can remember.”
“Shhh…don’t ask that. That box with the button is yours. I claim this button as mine. You confessed the moment this came out of your pocket.”
Tezuka could only look at Fuji. He was right. This button had served as a confession.
“Then…can I kiss you?”
“Only you would ask for permission, Tezuka.”
Tezuka didn’t need permission but he was nervous. He was no virgin but this was a very important moment for both of them and he didn’t want to ruin it.
His left hand moved of its own volition. Tezuka caressed Fuji’s face, his other hand running through Fuji’s hair. He moved closer to Fuji placed a small kiss on his cheek. He continued to place small kisses over Fuji’s face, building up the anticipation.
Tezuka’s fingers were now entwined in Fuji’s hair, holding his head in both hands. He tilted his head a bit and his mouth met with Fuji’s.
Their kiss was tentative at first. Sweet for their first time. Something that they could remember later on over a lazy breakfast in bed on a Sunday morning.
Tezuka for the first time in his life felt the weight of 10 years of wanting this kiss. He was a fool to have waited this long. They had wasted valuable time.
He deepened the kiss. Tezuka opened his mouth and licked Fuji’s lips. A shiver ran through his body at the sensation. Fuji opened his lips and moaned.
“Ah, do that again…”
Tezuka complied and he felt Fuji tremble in his hands. That was the exact encouragement he needed.
He pushed Fuji down. Their kiss this time around was more passionate. Tezuka’s hands were memorizing the feel of Fuji’s body through his clothes.
Somehow those same hands had found Fuji’s belt buckle and undone it. Tezuka was getting aroused by kissing and touching. He wanted to explore more.
Suddenly he stopped just as he was going to put a hand down Fuji’s boxers. His rational mind made him look at what he was doing and he sat back, panting and sweating.
“I’m sorry…” He looked at Fuji on the floor, flushed, breathing hard, his lips swollen and his pants open with an erection straining against the fabric.
Tezuka licked his lips, his self-control was slipping at seeing Fuji displayed like that.
“Ah, I’m very sorry…”
“And you’re going to leave me like this? You said you love me. You asked if you could kiss me. Now I’m going to ask you, will you love me?”
I love him. I always have and always will, Tezuka thought.
“I love you, Fuji. Never doubt that.”
“Then come here and show it.” Fuji extended his arms out to hold Tezuka.
Tezuka remained where he was. He wanted to give in but was hesitant.
“I think we’re past the courtship stage. We can go on to more daring adventures.” Fuji sat up and grabbed Tezuka’s hand. “Don’t make me beg.” He guided Tezuka’s hand inside his pants. “I’ve dreamt of this so many times…”
“No!” Tezuka pulled his hand back. “I won’t do it like this. I want you naked under me. I want to savor every inch of you. I want to hear you moan my name. I want to make you come and milk you dry.” He was growling each word out.
Fuji breathed his name out, “Tezuka…”
Tezuka had stopped thinking and put action to his words. In between hot kisses, he removed his clothes and Fuji’s.
They stood face to face. Their erections glistening with pre-come. Tezuka couldn’t take his eyes off Fuji. He reached out a hand and pulled Fuji to him. He licked his ear and inserted the tip of his tongue in imitation of what was to come.
Fuji put his arms around Tezuka’s chest. He started to rub himself against Tezuka.
“If you keep doing that, I won’t last much longer,” Tezuka said, biting Fuji’s shoulder hard enough to leave a mark.
“So you don’t want a second round?” Fuji started to go down on his knees and pulled Tezuka down with him.
“I always wanted to do this with you,” Tezuka’s voice whispered in Fuji’s ear.
There was hardly any space in between their sweaty bodies. Tezuka grabbed both cocks with his hand and started to slowly pump them.
“Tell me what you want, Fuji.”
“What you’re…doing is good,” he breathed out.
Tezuka closed his eyes and rested his head on top of Fuji’s, “No, tell me what you really want.”
Tezuka felt Fuji’s breath on his chest and arms around his neck, trying to hold on.
“You’re what I want, Tezuka.”
“If you don’t, ah, tell me, there won’t be a second time. Tell me…ah.”
“You…have to, huh…Tezuka, you have to promise me you’ll fuck me.”
“Ah…yeah, fuck me hard…from behind. This body is yours…”
Tezuka’s other hand had been massaging Fuji’s entrance. He continued to pump their cocks together, “Did you play with this,” he inserted a finger to show him what he meant, “when you played with yourself?”
“And I always did it thinking of you…always thinking what…ah, you would do to me. More! Ah!”
“Fuji, look at me.”
Fuji looked up. His eyes were clouded with desire. Tezuka wanted to see his face when Fuji climaxed.
While Tezuka finger-fucked him, Fuji started to move his hips to the rhythm he was keeping.
“Ah…more, put another finger in.”
Tezuka was pleased with this reaction. He put another finger in and widened Fuji’s entrance even more.
They were close to coming. Tezuka put a third finger in and felt Fuji’s prostrate; with each thrust of his hand Fuji moaned louder.
Their world exploded into whiteness.
Tezuka continued to pump their cocks until nothing was left. At the moment Fuji came, his sphincter clenched against Tezuka’s fingers.
They were spent and clinging to each other. Tezuka removed his fingers and continued to massage the muscle.
He looked at his other hand covered in come from both of them and started to lick his fingers. Fuji was in a daze but when he saw Tezuka licking, he joined him.
Tezuka grabbed Fuji’s face and kissed him until neither could breathe.
Fuji pulled away first, “I’m ready for the next round. I have a lot of catching up to do.” He nuzzled against Tezuka’s chest.
“Then lead the way…”
Fuji led Tezuka by the hand. The bed was big and that suited Tezuka just fine.
He saw the small cactus on the night table and was about to ask Fuji about it when the other man surprised him by smacking his buttock lightly.
“You’re not leaving this room for a while, Kunimitsu. I’m not satisfied yet.” Fuji gave him a sensual smile.
“I’ll gladly oblige.” Tezuka took him in his arms again and whispered words of love in his ear.
Today was the last match to decide the winner for the men’s singles. Fuji was ready for anything the world and his opponent could throw at him.
He had thought his life was complete and wasn’t aware of how empty it really was. Fuji was successful and had been turned into a celebrity by his savvy manager, but all of that paled in comparison to being in Tezuka’s arms.
The match was about to start. Fuji reached into his pocket, past the tennis ball, to feel a 10 year-old button that had once belonged to Tezuka.