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 (Second of Three)

A/N:

Whoa. This is progressing faster than I expected it to. I might finish this trilogy within the day. I ask you, however, to pardon the frenzied writing pace. I reaaaally can't get rid of it.

Disclaimer:

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

Deck (Second of Three)

"Ayamiko?"

"What's wrong, Shu-niichan?" an extremely pretty girl with cascading, dark brown hair and bright purple eyes asked as she stood before the two boys, a confused expression on her face. "You look worried about something."

"Ahh, no, it's just-"

"Fuji-san," greeted Tezuka, rising from his seat. "Good afternoon."

"Good afternoon, too, Tezuka-san," replied Ayamiko, blushing furiously and bowing deeply. "I'm sorry for making you wait. It seems I underestimated the commute time…"

"We were simply too early," Tezuka countered, ever the gentleman.

"If you say so…"

Fuji Ayamiko noticed her cousin staring up at the two of them, his mouth open in an O of surprise.

"Shu-niichan, what's wrong with you?" she asked, sincerely concerned. "You have this shocked expression on your face, like you've just seen a ghost or something. What happened?"

The older Fuji snapped out of it.

"I-I'm… it's nothing," Fuji assured Ayamiko. "I'm just unaccustomed to seeing you dressed like that…"

Or acting like that.

As one, the three of them turned their eyes to Ayamiko's emerald green dress, old-fashioned and made of some floaty, flowing fabric. Fingering her dress, the girl sheepishly admittedly, "It's a bit different from my usual shirt and jeans, huh? But I thought, since it is my first date, no, our first date, it should be extra special…"

As she said this last line, Ayamiko looked away, her face flaming red. Fuji, too, felt uncomfortable looking at his cousin, so he directed his gaze at the city street outside, trying to drown himself in the noise of the crowd, intangible from the confines of the coffee shop.

Tezuka, glasses glinting against the setting sun, cleared his throat.

"We should go now, Fuji-san," he said. "Else, we'll miss the show."

"Right, K-Kunimitsu-kun," Ayamiko stuttered, slightly out of breath. Turning to her cousin, an ecstatic expression on her face, she whispered, "Jaa, Shu-niichan. Thanks again for this," she added, giving Fuji an extra hug.

Awkwardly patting his cousin's back, Fuji once more risked a glance at Tezuka: he was still standing, rigid, unyielding, an aura of austerity enveloping his tall frame. The genius closed his eyes, pain etched on his face.

So this is goodbye…

Stealing a final kiss from her cousin's forehead, Ayamiko turned to her date.

"Shall we go then?" she said brightly.

Tezuka Kunimitsu, impassive, nodded, and wordlessly offered his arm. Blushing scarlet once more, Ayamiko took the arm he offered, and immediately fell at ease with his warmth. With one last look, one last nod at his teammate, Tezuka left the room without a backward glance.

As he waved his cousin and his friend away, Fuji chuckled sadly.

"She's gotten refined for this occasion, huh?" he noted to himself, shaking his head as he sat against the backdrop of a downtown Tokyo sunset, drinking the last of his tea.

It tasted oddly bitter, now that he had gone.

"Shu-niichan!" a loud voice called from behind Fuji, just as night had settled in. Turning, he found Ayamiko running towards him, hair in disarray, wearing a sapphire blue silk dress. As she wove her way through an openly staring crowd, Fuji found himself rising to his feet.

"Ayamiko-?"

"I'm sooooooo sorry!" the girl apologized, panting slightly from the effort of running. "I took an afternoon nap and woke up late. Urgh! Yuta didn't even wake me up, the little devil-"

"Wait a minute, you-"

"-tried to get here as soon as I could but the traffic was just horrible. Horrible, I tell you-"

"Ayamiko, wait-"

"-is Tezuka-kun? Has he left? Oh my God. I don't believe this!"

"Listen!"

At her cousin's panicked yell, Ayamiko clammed up, turning worried purple eyes at Fuji.

"What's wrong, Oniichan?"

"Are you pulling my leg?" Fuji asked, discovering, much to his dismay, that he was on the verge of losing his patience. "You turned up just half an hour ago, dressed in green, not blue. And Tezuka left with you. You two were on the way to the theater, last time I checked."

"Oniichan, I've just arrived, I swear-"

"Don't joke with me, Ayamiko," Fuji warned, placing his hands on his cousin's shoulders. He realized his fortunetelling had affected him profoundly, such that he was now interpreting a harmless prank as a supernatural occurrence. "You were here just a while ago, and you left with Tezuka-"

"I didn't, Shu-niichan," his cousin insisted. "I've just arrived. If you want, you can call Yuta and ask him for yourself. I'm telling you the truth-"

"Ayamiko, I'm warning you, I-"

Then it hit him. If Ayamiko was pulling a prank, it had to mean Tezuka was in it with her. And Tezuka, probably having seen how affected Fuji had been because of that stupid card, would neverwant to play with his emotions in his current state. With that reasoning, it would appear Ayamiko really did not leave with Tezuka…

"So who left with him?" Fuji whispered.

Could it be… that death pertains not to someone related to Tezuka… but to Tezuka himself?

"Oniichan, where are you going?!" Ayamiko shouted as her cousin raced past her, running out of the coffee house. Running headlong into the crowd, Fuji dazedly scanned the area, searching for landmarks, before running haphazardly in the direction of the Watanabe Theater. [1]

Tezuka. Kunimitsu. Please be safe.

A/N:

I'm not sure I'm doing a good job of explaining things. Please PM if confused.

Revenge of the Footnotes:

[1] Watanabe Theater. Fictional as far as I know.