Fandom: Prince of Tennis
Type: Shounen ai... fairy tale?
Time: approximately 90 minutes
Disclaimer: If I owned these boys, I would be smoking the good crack, like the creators are obviously doing. Alas, I have to make do with cheap fandom crack.
Summary: Voici mon secret. Il est tr?s simple : on ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.
(It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye.)
Love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.
To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Notes: I lost track of how long this took, though I'm relatively sure it was around 90 minutes. I have nothing else to say, besides that even by my standards, it's weird.
Der Kleine Prinz
When he learns that Tezuka is leaving for Germany, Fuji doesn't say much of anything at all. It takes, perhaps, a couple of days for the knowledge of it to sink in, because Tezuka is their constant, their sun-rising-in-the-east, their anchor and leader and lighthouse, but when it finally does, Fuji goes to the bookstore. The language section is next to architecture and gardening, behind cooking, relegated to that all-encompassing, immense category and subcategory of Not-Fiction. The lunchtime crowds are all huddled in the Fiction section, between shelves of romance and crime novels, and more still at the back of the store. He lures a passing salesgirl with a smile and a softly-spoken request, and she was more than happy to pull several good dictionaries for him, even the as-yet-unshelved ones from the storeroom. Fuji can be charming, when it suits him.
He decides to wander a little, now that he has his books, into the gardening section, and he picks through the selection on cacti. The aisle is empty, save for the lone office lady at the end picking sadly through book upon book of advice on how to deal with weeds; he has an entire swath of carpet to sit down on, to stack the dictionaries beside him and pull the shiny, glossy-picture covered tomes from below, open it before him and rest his chin on his hand in the unconscious, absorbed pose of a younger boy. He has most of these already, but he likes to browse, revisit the books like childhood friends. The familiarity of the pictures soothe him, the miracle of an entire desert of cacti blooming after a storm. His own will never do the same - the flowers come as surprises, unpredictable as the best gifts, and as rare as gems. Fuji doesn't wait for the blooms or plan for them, or even hope. As he sees it, they will come when they will, a sudden, whimsical unfurling in the night. As he sees it, they suit each other.
When he looks up again, he truly is alone in the orderly profusion of the bookshelves, the crowd having ebbed away, and most of the staff probably on their lunch/smoke break out back, which is why he has been left to do as he pleased for so long. He gathers them back up again, tipping the cover back and letting the cool sharp-gloss edge of the leaves shush against his palm as they close.
Fuji drifts, it seems to him, along the row until he is in the history section, looking at covers about conquerors and dictators and, two cases over, explorers. These are far heavier than his airy picture-books of cacti, weighty with facts and figures of importance. Fuji has little interest in these photos, the grainy, stiffly-posed black-and-whites of heavily-jowled American men, and his eyes slide over these to simpler eras, the flat, woodblock printing of silk-clad court ladies and calligraphy. He picks one at random and opens it to one of the picture inserts, tracing the line of the jaw of a courtesan with luxuriant hair, and then, a mischievious thought darting in, flattening his fingers against the mouth and forehead of the samurai on the page opposite, leaving only the eyes visible.
Yes, he thought, they were the same eyes, and he lifts his eyes to another and another and another, all down the same column and row of shelving. Conqueror. Dictator. Explorer. Invader. Samurai.
He walks away from those eyes, carrying his dictionaries down the line and trunk of the store, leaf upon leaf of books, and on his way, takes a newly-published book on cacti as well. It is not the prettiest by far, rather dry, in fact, in the commentary, but he appreciates the honesty of it, the frankness, and the unexpected vividness of a blooming cactus among pictures of rather unprepossessing specimens, like a drink of water after the drought of stubbornly economical design, as extravagant as wine.
Fuji doesn't read the book when he gets home, putting it aside in favour of the practical red-yellow-black cover of his German beginner's book. "Ich," he murmurs to himself, and then, more surely, "Ich bin." It is late by the time he tires of it, and finally he crawls under the blankets, more exhausted than he had thought he was. He reads one last story to himself before he turns out the light, the last words in his mouth the translation he laboriously looked up two hours ago and practiced until they sounded right in his head.
Tezuka flies on a Friday, and Fuji brings his gifts to his house after school on Wednesday, carefully gift-wrapped and bow-tied. Tezuka's mother fusses over them and brings them tea in Tezuka's room, which is not messy, precisely, with packing, but more filled with things than Fuji is used to, the few times he has been here. There are running shoes next to Tezuka's suitcase, a few pairs of rolled-up socks lying next to those. Fuji wonders if the shadows on Tezuka's mother's face had been tear-tracks, but knows it would be pointless and rude to ask. He bows formally as he hands the presents over, and out of the corner of his eye, he sees Tezuka's brows wing up.
Tezuka accepts the gift and cactus pot graciously, but with a sense of heavily-suppressed impatience.
"It is not as if I'm going away forever," he says, and puts the cactus on the nightstand, the ribbon Fuji tied around the pot and looped around it trailing its ends over the edge in a way that Fuji knows will get them caught in Tezuka's top drawer.
"These aren't farewell gifts, Tezuka." He looks over at Fuji curiously, and Fuji smiles, takes a sip of his tea before continuing. "They're to remind you where home is."
"Do you think I'd forget?"
"I think that you might get distracted on the way."
"I don't get distracted," and Tezuka's eyes are very firm, very certain.
"Shall we make a pact then?" Fuji holds up the little finger of his right hand, crooked.
Tezuka looks at Fuji, looks at Fuji's hand, and doesn't answer immediately. "What kind of pact?"
"That you'll come home."
Tezuka doesn't move, but Fuji is patient, and he finally brings up his own right hand and curls his own finger around Fuji's.
Fuji smiles, then, and, lightning-quick, before Tezuka can disengage and pull away, leans forward and slides his left arm around Tezuka's shoulders, pulling him forward into a loose embrace, not quite a hug.
"I'm selfish," he murmurs, and then a sighed "thank you" into Tezuka's ear, before Tezuka pulls away.
Tezuka leaves on Friday, and Fuji does not see him go. There is no need.
Tezuka comes back on a Saturday, and the first thing he says to Fuji, who had been waiting outside his gate, is "I'm home."
Fuji smiles, and tells him, "You never left."
Und sie lebten glücklich und zufrieden bis an ihr Lebensende.
And they lived happily ever after.