Fandom: Prince of Tennis
Disclaimer: Konomi-sensei, manga-ka.
Challenge: non-song songfic
Pairing: Yamato/Tezuka? or Gen. Your Choice.
Notes: The song used is “I Still Believe” by Tim Cappello. I’ve taken some liberties with the lyrics – transferring to the third person, ditching connecting words... hell, I took a lot of liberties. Enjoy to story though.
Time: 31 minutes.
Start time: 7:49
He felt like he had been in a cave for 40 days when he was told about what had happened to Tezuka. It was something that everyone else had known, and apparently was old news, but he had been so busy with his classes that he hadn’t been paying attention to what had been going on in the middle school – he should have been.
He knew it was his fault.
It had been a spark from him that had began to light the way for Tezuka. He had been the one to set Tezuka Kunimitsu on the path to this, to destroying himself.
The night he found out, he had wanted give in to the tears that had threaten to overwhelm him. No one was going to blame him for his crime, but he knew his sin too well to deny it.
He had problems sleeping that night, trying to accept the fact that it was likely Tezuka would never play tennis again. Tezuka had always been a bright and shining thing, one who defeated even him, but now that perfection had cracked, and been left alone, as though no more than a dream.
He lay flat on his back, staring at the wall in front of him. The picture was of a sea vessel out at sea, one which he usually found relaxing, but that night, he felt himself being drawn in, and it was hard to breathe. He found himself hoping the waves didn’t cover him, feeling turned and tossed upon the waves. It was melodramatic, but he wondered if the darkness that surrounded him in his normally comfortable bedroom was going to envelop him whole.
He had to accept what had happened, but all he could see was a mental picture of Tezuka, on the ground, wincing as he clenched his ruined shoulder.
It wasn’t real, he knew, but it may have well as been.
It was the third night after he found out that he received a message on his cell phone. It was one he hadn’t been expecting. It was short and cryptic, but he understood.
I’m leaving for Germany soon. I’ll be at the court at 9 tonight.
He didn’t have to ask who it was from – and he knew he would go.
He went out on his own walking the streets, looking at the faces that he met. He felt like he wanted to go home – he didn’t know how to apologize to someone whose life he had destroyed, however inadvertently.
He lived close, and the tennis court brought back fond memories. He had had some of his best years here, even though they had never done anywhere near as well as the team had under Tezuka’s leadership.
He heard the sound of balls being hit, and wondered who was still there with the captain. As he rounded the final turn, his jaw dropped.
Tezuka... was playing.
He had forgotten how Tezuka had once used his right hand so expertly, but now, under the light of the courts, Tezuka stood, staring in determination as he served the ball again. From the balls scattered around, it was clear he had been practicing for a while.
What did he feel? the former captain wondered as he stared at the tennis prodigy. Tezuka... was still...
And then Tezuka smiled slightly as he caught sight of his idol. “Yamato-buchou,” he said, and there was no blame, no recrimination, simply pleasure at seeing his former mentor. “I’m glad you could make it.”
What did I know? he wondered, staring as Tezuka wiped a bit of sweat from his brow. For people like us in places like this, there’s nothing except tennis.... and I had forgotten. Tezuka is the pillar of Seigaku, and I should never had doubted he would resent me for any of it. We need all the hope we can get.
Tezuka finally reached him, and there was a slight glimmer in his eyes. To Yamato’s surprise, he bowed low. “I’m sorry I couldn’t win it... but I played my best. I have no regrets.”
Yamato reached out to raise Tezuka upright, and say what Tezuka most needed to hear. “I still believe in you.”
Stop time: 8:20