Shadow Boxer

Pairing: Tasuki x Kouji, Chichiri x Tasuki

Completed: Not

Author's note: I'm not a Japanese woman, so I don't own FY either. I named this fic after a Fiona Apple song off of her "Tidal" album.

In a small village at the end of a Pennsylvania sling, Kouji grew up with a simple man in a large house in a cluttered forest. The man wasn t his father, but a kind man who took care of him since he found him as an infant outside of New York. He was in a bundle of cloth on the doorstep of his old apartment. He grew too old for fast-paced city life and moved to the country to raise the infant. While Kouji was still a young child, the old man adopted a fiery haired boy Kouji s age. As soon as the youth entered the house, Kouji protected him with his life. The old man didn t prompt him at all, but let him love him like a brother. Whenever the fiery one would mess up, Kouji would cover for him. Sooner or later, the brothers became inseparable.

As time went on, the brothers grew so close they shared thoughts. One would find something out and the other one would know it. The old man told them they were twins. After going to school for some time, they discovered the opposite, but still loved each other none the less.

In high school they shared girlfriend and boyfriends. The community had become accustomed to the twins behavior, but frowned upon their homosexual tendencies. After they could find no more boys to date, the twins turned to each other. Everything felt right even though they thought they were related. The old man overlooked these things as they hid their activities very well.

Then, during their senior year, the old man passed away. They waited by his side for three days while he was dying. On the last day, he divulged that both of the boys were adopted. Neither of them was surprised, but humored the dying man.

Winter of that year, the brothers decided on what to do the following year. Kouji knew he wouldn t fit in at a big college right away, so he broke it to his brother he d be moving to New York for a year after summer vacation. Kouji also knew his brother was meant for a university right away. Feeling rather disheartened, the brothers decided to spend every moment they could with each other until their departure. Both of them knew how little they d see each other after the migration. They agreed that every summer after would be spent in the cabin they grew up in.

One day that spring, Kouji s brother ran into the house screaming and hollering with a glowing white piece of paper in his grasp. Kouji was tackled onto the ground with kisses and violent cuddles. What is it? What are you so fucking excited about?

I got into NYU! I can go to New York with you! he spat.

Kouji had no idea he applied for NYU. Oh, god, Tasuki! That means we can be together in New York! He hugged him tightly. You planned this all along didn t you?

Yup.

Tasuki, I love you!

They kept in contact all through the first month of New York. Tasuki adjusted to college life as Kouji settled into his apartment. They were close enough were they could train across the city to see each other. Almost every weekend, they saw each other and spoke of their weeks. Nothing really changed aside from location. Kouji settled into the New York punk scene. Tasuki became a little more studious and a little less sexually active. Tasuki had been seeing Kouji exclusively while Kouji had two other punk lovers. Neither of them was exclusive either. Tasuki was unaware of this until Kouji trudged into his dorm late one Friday night with a sheet of blue paper. Tasuki read the title from afar: Test Results. His blood froze. Why did Kouji get test runs on him? he thought. What s wrong, Kou-chan?

Kouji ran and planted his head in Tasuki s lap and sobbed. Tasuki, I m so sorry. So sorry. I didn t know about it. I thought they were clean, honest.

What the hell are you talking about Kou-chan? Who was clean? He lifted the sheet from his grasp. Kouji had gotten tested for STD s. Oh my god, Kouji, you . . .

I ve got HIV. There are cures for it being researched, but there s none yet. You ve got to go get tested, Tasuki!

Tasuki lifted Kouji into his lap and hugged him tightly. It ll be okay Kou-chan. Even if I have it, you re the only one I ve slept with since I ve gotten here. No one else has got it.

I don t care about that! Tasuki, I ll die if you have it too! I couldn t stand myself if I ve given this to you! Please, forgive me Tasuki! If only I d ve been faithful to you, none of this would have happened. This is all my fault.

Kouji, I don t know if I have it or not. Don t fret over it until we know. Tasuki digested the situation more. How many others have you fucked Kouji?

Only two others. And I haven t fucked them in weeks, I swear. I ll tell them tomorrow about it. I m so sorry, Tasuki.

It ll be okay, Kou-chan. Tasuki held him until he left the next morning.

A week later, Kouji found out the others he d slept with were clean. Tasuki was still waiting for his results to get back when he sat in a secluded swamp near the edge of Central Park. The overwhelming greens reminded him of his hometown. He wanted to go back there and let the problems stay in the outside world. A tall willow tree across the swamp looked like the one Kouji and him used to make love under back in Pennsylvania. It had branches that hung all the way down to the ground almost curtaining the grass surrounding the base. He walked across the swamp near the tree. The closer he got, the warmer his body became at what he thought was the memories of their sex. Yellow had turned the ends of the thin branches and began to crawl up. He sat at the base and began to recall how many signs Kouji had subconsciously given him he wasn t faithful. God, how could I have been so blind? he thought.

At that moment, a body landed on its feet in front of him from a high part of the tree. Shocked within an inch of his wits, Tasuki clung to the base of the tree. What the hell!

The figure lifted its head to reveal a man of college age with a scared eye. Then the figure began to roll down the incline heading directly into the swamp. Tasuki let his muscles take over as he scrambled to catch the man s hand. The adrenaline pumped instantaneously into his veins allowing him to catch the man s forearm preventing him from falling in any further. His fingernails dug into the man s arm as he drug him back onto solid land. With the other man clutched tightly in his arms, they both panted heavily staring in the direction of the swamp. Noticing their position, they parted quickly and sat beside each other at the foot of the tree. Tasuki spoke up first. What were you doing all the way up in the tree?

The other student smirked impishly at him. My hat got caught in the wind and flew up there no da, he replied. I fell out of the tree after I knocked it down no da.

No da? he inquired.

That s the way I speak no da. If you got a problem with that I ll throw you in the swamp no da! he held a fist before Tasuki s face.

Tasuki rose his hands in front of his face defensively and responded, I don t. Oh, I m Genrou Kou. You can call me Tasuki.

Houjun Li. You can call me Chichiri.

You sure have a strange way of meeting people, Chichiri.

You too. Why were you sitting under my tree anyway?

I was just thinking, he responded blandly.

I see, he could tell he was hiding something, but chose to ignore it for the meanwhile. Help me find my hat Tasuki.

Please?

Please.

Half an hour later, Tasuki and Chichiri ended up in one of the infinite Starbucks in Manhattan. The sun bounced loosely off of Chichiri s pale skin as he rambled on about his Medical degree. Tasuki slung his arm around the back of his mahogany chair lazily. Chichiri seems like a nice guy, a little eccentric though. All those no da s . Well, they don t sound so foreign. And that blue hair. It looks great on him, but it looks so natural, he thought.

. . . So I really don t like the idea of touching brains, Chichiri finished.

Well, you are in med. school. Can I ask you a question? he leaned forward to touch his dangling blue bangs.

Chichiri almost leaned away, but then sat still. Yeah.

Is that your natural hair color? his tone was a bit lower than normal. The silky blue strands slid out from between his fingers easily.

Chichiri thought of a few naughty ways to answer the question, but answered the question in a less vulgar way. Yes. He stared into Tasuki s unwavering gaze for an unnecessarily long time. I don t know where it comes from though no da, he laughed.

Tasuki deterred his gaze into his paper coffee cup. His chest felt heavy at the thought of leaving the man before him, but he had to back to the school to check his test results. Damn it, Kouji! he cursed at himself.

There s that look again, no da, Chichiri looked at his friend s face. That forlorn expression pulled at his heartstrings. All he had the guts to do was play with his hat. He desperately yearned to hold him, like in a phantom memory.

Tasuki tossed his head up at an awkward angle. All of his energy was put to covering up his concern. What look?

You re a horrible liar no da, Chichiri grabbed Tasuki s chin making his lips pout out in an exaggerated fashion. He chuckled impishly for a couple beats.

Tasuki s wet lips spat while trying to flee from Chichiri s grasp, Stop it, Chichiri! That hurts.

His grasp released and he apologized. But seriously, Tasuki, what s up no da?

It s nothing, he replied.

Come on, Tasuki, he grabbed his hand gently. Tasuki looked up at him surprised by the soft embrace. Neither of them pulled away, but Tasuki felt even worse about his addiction to the touch.

Can we go somewhere else to talk about it? Tasuki pulled away to take out his wallet to pay. I don t feel comfortable talking about it here.

Chichiri stood up and put his hat on. Sure no da.

After paying, they walked down the crowded late afternoon sidewalk silently until they were a few blocks away from the college. Where are you from Chichiri?

He piped up in the middle of a thought, Uh, Jersey. You no da?

I m from Pennsylvania, actually, that s a lie. I was adopted. I m originally from New York. Nevertheless, I m from Pennsylvania. My brother and I lived with our adoptive father in a small town an hour outside of Pittsburgh. Our father died last year around this time. Ever since then it s been my brother and I. I even moved to the same state as him so we could be together. A while ago I found out he had HIV.

Chichiri fought to keep all the information in. Oh, god. No wonder he didn t want to talk about it, he thought. I m sorry, Tasuki no da. Is he okay no da?

As far as I know he s as healthy as I am. He just made some bad decisions.

Is there anything I can do? Chichiri asked.

Tasuki stepped onto his campus. I don t think so. All he needs is to be healthy.

Chichiri grabbed Tasuki s arm, I didn t mean for him, Tasuki.

His shocked expression melted into a hard blush. Oh, Chichiri . . . he thought. He looked away from Chichiri s searching eyes. Only what you re doing now. He tugged Chichiri s arm and led him into the large campus.

Chichiri digested his response with a smile. Tasuki looks so cute with a blush on his face! He thought. NYU huh? He said inquisitively.

Yeah. It s a cool campus, lots of people. I gotta check my mail, he headed toward the wall of small metal boxes. His breath quickened with the heart beating like a jackhammer in his unsteady chest. Vaguely he thought the box would bite his shaky hand clean off leaving him to tend to a bloody stump. He lifted his key to the box with the attention of prey. Chichiri watched him like a hawk, waiting for him to fall so he could catch him. Something else was horribly wrong with Tasuki. Chichiri decided to wait until he came to him to help him. Tasuki was fighting something Chichiri felt he had no place in. Still, he d wait.

Tasuki opened the threatening box to see a long manila envelope. He picked it out with a whole hand and shut the door. Then he looked at the face. This isn t from the lab, he scowled.

Lab no da? Chichiri asked.

Tasuki pouted for a moment at the idea that he d have to wait another day. God! When will the fucking waiting end! I can t stand this! Am I going to die or not! Damn you Kouji! he yelled inside his head. It s my brother s lab results, they re not in yet, he answered with a frown.

I m sorry, he said. Hey Tasuki. You look tired no da. Let me walk you to your dorm no da.

Tasuki smirked, Thanks, Chichiri.

They walked to the southern most hall of the campus to the fourth floor. Tasuki opened the door to his single dorm room. Chichiri shut the door behind him and took off his hat with a guilty look. There were piles of papers and books everywhere. He studies a lot. Too little time to clean, he thought with a smile. It melted slowly into a cherry-cheeked gaze as his eyes shifted toward Tasuki s reclined form lazing on the bed. It almost beckoned him. Chichiri felt the heat on his cheeks sprawl toward his ears. Tasuki gazed at him with a mixed expression. Part of Tasuki wanted Chichiri so badly; the other was disgusted with his most likely sick self. No part of him wanted to hurt Chichiri. Chichiri stalked to sit by Tasuki s beckoning half. You want me too, don t you, Chichiri? he thought looking at the blue haired youth staring at the barren floor.

Is there anything I can do? Chichiri asked nervously. Everything wanted to jump onto Tasuki s inviting body. Chichiri held it back with a bitten lip.

Tasuki couldn t keep his eyes off of his delicate body. This magnetic connection couldn t be ignored. I don t want to hurt you, Chichiri! I can t hurt you! I have to get him away from me, he reasoned. I need to be alone, he whispered.

His heart swelled painfully in his chest. He s telling me to go away, he thought. I see. Can I see you again? he asked facing the other man pleadingly.

Tasuki gathered a piece of paper and a pen. He scribbled a few digits down and a few words then folded it. Here s my number. Call me tomorrow if you get the chance.

Chichiri took the note joyously. I will. Afterward, he put his hat back on and headed toward the door solemnly. I hope your brother does well, Tasuki no da.

Tasuki nodded and watched the open character out of his room. Every fiber of Tasuki wanted Chichiri to run back in and swear his love to him, but he knew he was disillusioning himself. Chichiri probably hates guys like me, but he sure wanted to stick around, his mind wandered.

Chichiri took down his room number outside of Tasuki s room. Walking away, a purple-haired guy walked in the opposite direction. Taking note of the blue-haired youth, he headed toward a nearby room and opened the door. Tasuki! he belled.

Tasuki sat on his disorderly bed thinking about his brother and Chichiri. Listlessly, he played into habit, saying his scripted lines. Yes, Nuri?

I saw a delicious boy outside, kinda funky though. Anyhoo, lets go clubbing tonight! I got a sexy pair of leather pants to try out. Come on, Ta-chan.

No, Nuri, I ve got work to do. And for the last time stop calling me Ta-chan damn it!

He pouted.

Tasuki fought.

In the end, Tasuki gave in. A little time away from my problems would do me good, he thought.

Part 2