Deck

by beaple leone michaelmas

Summary:

While waiting for a special girl to turn up, Fuji Shusuke tries to foretell Tezuka Kunimitsu's love life.

Deck (First of Three)

A/N:

Okay, okay. I promised myself I'd stop writing fanfiction for the meantime. But! This story! Plot bunny! Jumped into my head! Must… write… before reality comes crashing down on me tomorrow.

Please pardon the improper characterization. I'm not sure I did their personalities justice. Also, about the card reading, I doubt that's how professional fortunetelling is done. But, that's how my friend predicted my future, so… it'll be featured here. ::D

Disclaimer:

I do not own The Prince of Tennis. The whole concept belongs to Konomi Takeshi-sensei.

Deck (First of Three)

"I still can't believe I managed to drag you here," Fuji Shusuke chuckled good-naturedly, taking a sip out of his porcelain teacup. "You've finally decided to date someone, eh? My cousin, too, no less…"

Tezuka Kunimitsu pushed his glasses higher up his nose, the lenses glinting in the late afternoon sunlight. Saying nothing, he merely picked up his teacup, which was emitting a faint steam, taking a sip from it, his expression unchanging.

Fuji smiled at his friend's lack of reaction.

"Ne, Tezuka, why don't you let me predict your future?" he offered, taking a package out of his jacket's breast pocket. "I can't promise you I'll do it perfectly, though; I only learned the steps last night."

Tezuka's eyebrows rose as his gaze fell on the object in his friend's hand.

"Tarot cards?"

"Yeah, Ayamiko gave them to me as a thank you present," Fuji admitted, oddly apologetic. "For arranging this date, she said."

As he began shuffling the cards in his hand, Fuji stole a glance at Tezuka, who was now looking out the window overlooking a busy downtown thoroughfare, oblivious. Letting his hands move methodically, expertly but mechanically, Fuji let his thoughts wander, far away from the high-end coffee shop where he now sat with his tennis team captain, waiting for his cousin to arrive.

It had been two full weeks since Ayamiko had come from California; for a much-needed vacation, she had explained. Apparently stressed with the competition at the exclusive music school she was attending, she had decided to pay a visit to her relatives in Japan, adjusting easily to a lifestyle she was not accustomed to, even attending classes at Seigaku to "assimilate" better.

It was how she and Tezuka had met. One afternoon, as Ayamiko wandered into the tennis court, looking for her Shu-niichan, she had locked eyes with the boys' tennis team captain. The moment Fuji saw the glazed expression on his cousin's face, the surprised look in Tezuka's eyes, he knew…

It hurt. He didn't want to admit it, but it hurt badly.

He knew harboring secret feelings for Tezuka was not healthy for him; it ruined his concentration, it made him distracted. So Fuji, ever optimistic, turned his cousin's attraction to his advantage. Perhaps if Tezuka and Ayamiko began dating, his subconscious would give up and move on?

Yet the moment he had set this first date for the two of them, he realized he would never be able to move on. He was only torturing himself this way…

"Fuji, you've been shuffling for close to five minutes now."

"Ahhhhh, gomenasai," Fuji answered distractedly, a few cards falling out of the pile and onto the table. "I was running through the process in my head; I can't seem to remember everything…"

Flustering slightly at Tezuka's hawk-like gaze, Fuji forced a smile.

"Well then, I'll explain the procedure to you," he said, putting the cards on a neat stack before Tezuka. "What I'm about to foretell is your future in relation to someone in your life. The first thing you must do is to think of an important person to you right now. Then, knock once on this deck for each letter of that person's name. Go on," he prodded gently, pushing the deck closer to Tezuka.

Hesitating, his lips parted slightly, Tezuka stared at the cards before him for a few moments, apparently lost in thought. Just as Fuji was about to prod him, however, he lifted his left hand and knocked on the pile of tarot cards.

One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven… Ayamiko.

"Right," Fuji acknowledged, forcing a smile despite the oppressing, burning sensation steadily building up in his throat. "I'll pretend I don't know whose name you just knocked, so answer me this: What is this person to you right now? A lover? A close friend? A parent? A rival, perhaps…?"

"Just a friend," Tezuka answered in a monotone, pushing his glasses even higher.

Nodding, Fuji began the complicated process of shuffling the cards in order. Mercifully, the task required a high degree of concentration, forcing him to focus and to disregard Tezuka's outright acknowledgement that he was serious about Ayamiko.

Several minutes of confused shuffling and card-picking later, five tarot cards, lying facedown dramatically, were arranged in a row on the table, looking very ominous and forbidding. Feeling excited despite himself, Fuji flipped the leftmost card.

"The Star," Fuji noted, seeing a card with a star hovering above a naked woman, whose left foot was placed firmly on land, her other foot resting on a pond. "What did Ayamiko say about this…?"

He pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket, earning him a cold glare from Tezuka. Grinning sheepishly, he checked the list of tarot card interpretations, his eyes landing on the interpretation for The Star.

"The pool of water refers to the subconscious. The land refers to the material world. She, the naked woman, I suppose, renews both. Usually divined as hope for the future, good things to come regarding the cards close to the star. That's a good sign, isn't it, Tezuka?" Fuji said, smiling faintly. "That's a good sign, especially for a first date."

Not waiting for his friend's reply – not that one was to be expected – he flipped the rightmost card.

"That's The Moon," Fuji said, recognizing the card with a wolf and a dog howling at a waxing moon. "My guide says… It's a bit long, I see. Well, it says… Lack of clarity, tension, doubt, fantasy… Confusion, Illusion, Fear, Imagination, Worry… Romanticism, Anxiety, Apprehension, Unrealistic Ideas…"

Fuji frowned. It wasn't a very good card.

"Maybe this is referring to Ayamiko's imminent return to America," he reasoned. "But I don't see why that should be much of a hindrance. You're not that bothered are you?"

Tezuka merely said nothing, content with sipping out of his teacup.

"Next is… The Fool," Fuji said softly, seeing a card with a young man standing on the precipice of a cliff. "Interpretation is… that of taking action where the circumstances are unknown, confronting one's fears, taking risks, and so on."

Fuji smiled, albeit sadly.

This card should have been named Love.

"What this?" Tezuka asked, eyebrows furrowed as he gazed at the card he had flipped, which had the image of a naked man and woman, standing under a winged creature, the sun shining over the scene. "The Lovers?"

"My, that's… lucky," Fuji said, becoming increasingly sad with the good hand his friend had acquired. "It symbolizes love relationship, union, passion, sexuality," he colored slightly as he said the last word aloud. Clearing his throat, he added, "The Lovers also represents raw desire."

"Fuji, I daresay this is becoming more foolish by the second."

"Hang on, Tezuka, there's just one more card," Fuji chided, flipping the last card, the one in the middle in the row of five, and laying it on the table.

Death. An armored skeleton riding a horse, surrounded by helpless, dying people of all classes.

"But that's-"

"Death," Tezuka continued, gazing at the card with an inscrutable expression. Taking the piece of paper from Fuji's frozen hand, he read, "Ending of a cycle, loss, conclusion, sadness... Being caught up in the inescapable, good-byes, deep change…"

"Does it mean actual death?"

"No," Tezuka replied. "It says here, it is unlikely that this card actually represents a physical death. Typically, it implies an end, possibly of a relationship or interest, and therefore implies an increased sense of self-awareness. There's nothing to worry about, Fuji."

Even with these words, Fuji felt the blood drain from his face.

"But Ayamiko-"

"What about me?" said a voice, jerking Fuji and Tezuka back to reality.

A/N:

All interpretations care of Wikipedia. I stuck with the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. Once again, I am not a fortuneteller. The methods used here are figments of my warped imagination.

Kindly review? ::D