left my heart in camelot. ♕ (choseri) wrote in starry_ink,
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Apple Pair Love

Title: How the Apple Pair Came to Be
Fandom: Prince of Tennis!
Pairing: APPLE PAIR - Tezuka Kunimitsu x Fuji Syuusuke
Author: arizaki_shisaku 
Rating: K+ to T
Summary: So there's the Fuji apple, but what most people don't know about is the Mutsu apple...and how does this all work into Tezuka's and Fuji's relationship? Fluffy, and chronicles the TezuFuji relationship from my perspective.
Disclaimer: I don't own Prince of Tennis. :(
Author's Notes: Drabble, written after inspiration from ketchupblood . :D I hope you enjoy! [Urk, I think I rushed the end. -sighs-] 

How the Apple Pair Came to Be

On the first day of junior high, Tezuka Kunimitsu had been captivated by Fuji Syuusuke.

Their first conversation was a bit awkward, though.

Tezuka thought that the new boy was weird, with his closed eyes and ever-agreeable smile. But the new boy was also quiet and thoughtful, unlike the rest of Tezuka’s brash and noisy classmates.

During lunch, Tezuka shyly walked over to Fuji’s desk as Fuji was unwrapping a bento. “Fuji Syuusuke, right?” Tezuka asked.

Fuji nodded. Apparently, Tezuka thought, quiet was an overstatement.

”Do you mind if I eat lunch with you?”

Fuji shook his head no, and Tezuka dragged his bento over to Fuji’s desk and plopped down, unwrapping his bento and pulling out an apple.

”Look, Syuusuke, an apple…just like your name!”

Fuji looked down and poked at his sushi. “Yes…that’s what most people think of when they hear my name…the Fuji apple.”

Tezuka was taken aback by Fuji’s sudden sadness. “Ah…gomen,” he mumbled, rather baffled by the sudden change in behavior.

Fuji lifted his head and gave Tezuka a blinding smile. “It’s no problem, Kunimitsu,” Fuji replied. “I’ll make an exception for you.”

At that time, Tezuka hadn’t quite understood the significance of Fuji’s words, so he had shrugged it off and continued talking. “So, what do you like? I like to play tennis...”

It had come as a pleasant surprise when Fuji and Tezuka, as well as Oishi, Inui, Kikumaru, and Takashi, joined the tennis club. Most of the Seigaku regulars at that time were shocked at Tezuka’s almost peerless tennis ability, and were scared that a scrawny freshman like Tezuka might take one of their spots on the regulars, so they tortured Tezuka and his left-handed playing.

Fuji always helped Tezuka, though, staying behind until it got dark with Tezuka picking up tennis balls, or sweeping the courts.

”Fuji, why don’t you do something? I’ve seen you play tennis before, and you play better than I do. I bet you could beat those regulars.”

Fuji cocked his head and thought about it. “I guess I feel better staying in the background until I feel like it’s time to do something.”

Tezuka nodded and dropped another tennis ball into the basket. Being Fuji, Tezuka supposed he was lucky to have even received an answer to his question.

The “time to do something” came for Fuji when one of the regulars had gotten so pissed off at Tezuka that he had actually tried to break the freshman’s tennis-playing arm. Tezuka’s screams of pain as the regular twisted Tezuka’s arm had sent Fuji running from his duty collecting tennis balls.

That had been the first time Tezuka had seen Fuji open his eyes.

Fuji’s eyes were the deepest blue, and Tezuka thought that they would generally be considered very pretty if they weren’t currently blazing in hatred and looking like blue flames about to devour something. Fuji raised his tennis racket and pointed it at the 3rd year regular. “I challenge you to a match,” he declared, staring down the larger tennis player.

The tennis player chuckled evilly and grabbed his racket, dropping Tezuka in the process. Tezuka rolled away, clutching his arm in pain.

”Fuji!” Tezuka called feebly. “Don’t!”

Fuji turned around and stared at Tezuka. “I know what I’m doing,” was all he said, before the regular served and Fuji ran to catch the ball.

It was in that match against the regular when Fuji had shown off his Higuma Otoshi when the regular had dropped a smash, thinking that it would catch Fuji by surprise. Rather, it had caught the regular by surprise when the ball flew well over his head and landed behind him.

Fuji had won the match, six games to two.

Tezuka had returned from the nurse’s office in time to see Fuji’s Higuma Otoshi, and to see Fuji steal the match from the regular.

”Tezuka,” Fuji said, walking over to the gate where Tezuka stood. “Is your arm okay?”

Tezuka managed a small smile. “Yeah, the nurse said it was just sprained and that it would heal. I should be playing tennis again in no time.”

The regular Fuji had played against had promptly quit the Seigaku team after he had been defeated by a freshman.

The truth was, that Tezuka’s arm never fully healed, and even though Tezuka continued to play tennis, it still hurt him sometimes to flex his arm. But Tezuka supposed that the lingering pain in his arm was a good thing, because every time it hurt, it reminded Tezuka of the day Fuji had fought for him.

--

Tezuka’s and Fuji’s second year at Seigaku had been much better, when most of the regulars, who were third years, had left and the new second-years had rose to take their spots. Yamato-buchou was a kind, compassionate buchou to the team, and especially gentle towards Tezuka (who was surprised when he was nominated fukubuchou as a unanimous vote by the whole team).

”I want you to be a pillar of Seigaku, Tezuka,” Yamato-buchou told a surprised Tezuka one afternoon after tennis practice. Buchou’s eyes were dead serious, and Tezuka gripped his racket.

”I have faith in you, Tezuka,” buchou continued. “So, can you do that for me next year, when I’m not here anymore?”

Tezuka nodded firmly. “Hai,” he said.

Buchou smiled at him before he walked off toward the locker rooms. “I know I can count on you,” were his parting words before he disappeared around the corner.

”Tezuka?” Fuji’s voice questioned from a little bit behind him.

Fuji walked up to Tezuka. “What did buchou say to you?”

”He—”

Fuji nudged Tezuka. “Wait, don’t tell me yet. Go get changed first, and then you can tell me while we’re walking home.”

Tezuka nodded silently, and after he had changed and had started walking home with Fuji, he spoke. “Yamato-buchou wants me to be the next pillar of Seigaku,” Tezuka muttered.

Fuji looked genuinely happy. “That’s great, Tezuka!” he exclaimed, grinning at the fukubuchou.

”But,” Tezuka continued worriedly, “That’s such a huge responsibility, and I’m not sure if I’m up to it…

Fuji placed a warm hand on Tezuka’s shoulder. “Saa…I suppose I’ll just practice extra hard with you then, ne?”

Tezuka stared into Fuji’s undecipherable, closed eyes. “Arigato, Fuji.”

Tezuka imagined that even after Fuji lifted his hand from Tezuka’s shoulder, the warmth still lingered there for hours afterwards.

Fuji stayed true to his promise, and at every practice, Fuji and Tezuka occupied a tennis court, hitting a tennis ball back and forth to improve on both of their abilities. During these training sessions, Tezuka not only gained invaluable knowledge in tennis, but also little personality tidbits about Fuji that Tezuka had never known before, or perhaps Fuji had never bothered to tell him.

Tezuka found it interesting that Fuji was a fan of photography, but it was disturbing that Fuji liked an odd variety of foods, such as wasabi sushi. It was also mildly interesting that Fuji could bake a wonderful cake, although Tezuka was generally wary of trying something that Fuji made after the incidence where Fuji thought that spiking a chocolate cake with wasabi was a good experiment to try on Tezuka.

Tezuka hated wasabi, and Fuji very well knew that, the sadist.

--

It wasn’t until the summer between their second year and third year at Seigaku when Tezuka actually took the time to give some thought to the possibility that perhaps his and Fuji’s relationship had evolved a bit more over just the scope of friends. Tezuka realized that perhaps, it wasn’t normal for his heart to skip a beat (or two) just because Fuji had laid a hand on his shoulder, leaned forward to pick a piece of grass from his hair.

Maybe, it wasn’t normal to think that Fuji had a particular scent that Tezuka thought he could breathe in all day.

It irritated Tezuka to no end to watch Fuji sit on the steps with him and slowly eat a popsicle as they watched the sun sink below the horizon, because Tezuka found he couldn’t concentrate on anything else, not even Fuji’s words, as he watched Fuji’s pink tongue reach out and lick the popsicle before darting back into Fuji’s mouth between his perfect lips.

Tezuka thought that he should do something about it, but no matter how many times he thought about it, he never did.

--

Tezuka’s and Fuji’s third year at Seigaku brought more responsibilities with the tennis team for Tezuka, since he was now buchou, and more homework for both of them as they juggled tennis and schoolwork.

The new freshman, Echizen Ryoma, stunned everybody at Seigaku with his impeccable tennis skills, and the petite freshman had almost immediately become a regular and an important asset to Seigaku.

It seemed like a perfect year for Tezuka Kunimitsu. The Seigaku tennis team was gathering fame and hype for the second year in a row, and everyone thought that Tezuka was going to lead the team to their second consecutive Nationals. Tezuka was doing very well in all of his classes at school. The only problem was…Fuji.

It was a breezy Sunday afternoon in November, and Fuji had shown up at Tezuka’s house with homework and textbooks, claiming that at his house, Yumiko was singing again and he couldn’t concentrate on his homework.

Tezuka felt distinctly uneasy because his parents were out of town at a conference in Osaka, and his grandfather was visiting old friends in Kyoto. None of them would be back until at least the middle of the week. But Fuji had looked up at Tezuka with his smiling eyes, and Tezuka couldn’t resist, so he pulled the door open wider and allowed Fuji to trot up the stairs to his room.

Tezuka had brewed tea for them, with two lumps of sugar for Fuji, just the way he liked it. For himself, Tezuka had grabbed an apple from the kitchen counter before following Fuji up the stairs to his bedroom.

He noticed that Fuji had already made himself comfortable on the floor of Tezuka’s bedroom, spreading papers and notes around him and opening textbooks to the correct pages. “Don’t mind me,” Fuji said, accepting the tea from Tezuka.

Tezuka barely nodded at Fuji’s words, because he had since learned that the best way to avoid getting a full “Fuji attack” was to try and ignore Fuji in the best way possible without coming off as too rude. So Tezuka simply situated himself against the edge of his desk, sitting close, but not too close, to Fuji, and continued poring over his math textbook, taking occasional bites of his apple.

The apple was crisp and sweet, and Tezuka grinned at the irony as he recognized the type of apple. Fuji, Tezuka thought and unconsciously, smiled warmly at the silently-working boy sitting cross-legged on the floor across from him.

Tezuka thought he had been doing quite a good job at not looking up at Fuji, until whenever Fuji shifted his body or flipped a page, Tezuka found his eyes dart to Fuji, and soon, Tezuka had completely forgotten about his math book as he watched Fuji twirl his pencil with his nimble fingers, the way his breath moved his soft bangs, and how sometimes his eyes would open to reveal stunning cerulean orbs when he was reading a particularly important passage in his book.

Tezuka felt adrenaline bubble up inside of him when his body moved seemingly of its own accord and he ditched the half-eaten apple next to his math textbook.

”Fuji,” Tezuka murmured, only barely noticing how his voice had seemed to drop several notches lower. Fuji glanced up at Tezuka in surprise, showing tantalizing slices of deep blue eyes as he blinked open his eyes.

”Hm?” Fuji asked, pausing in the middle of writing something, with his pencil held in midair. “Tezuka—”

Fuji didn’t get to finish the sentence because Tezuka pounced forward with surprising agility and captured Fuji’s lips in his. Fuji’s pencil clattered to the floor, and Fuji opened his mouth in full response to Tezuka’s actions, moaning “Kunimitsu” and threading his delicate fingers through Tezuka’s messy hair.

It didn’t fully sink in to Tezuka that he had kissed Fuji until they ended the kiss when air became a necessity, and Tezuka simply stared down at Fuji nestled in the warm alcove of his lap (because apparently, sometime during their heated make-out session, Fuji had climbed into Tezuka’s lap). Tezuka noted Fuji’s rumpled hair, flushed cheeks, and puffed lips, and decided that he probably didn’t look so great either.

”You taste like apple,” Fuji murmured contentedly against Tezuka’s chest, and Tezuka could feel the vibration of his voice through his skin. “I’m going to guess that you were eating a Fuji apple.”

Tezuka gently kissed the side of Fuji’s temple, feeling oddly caring at that moment, and at peace, perhaps even bliss. “Got it in one,” he replied.

Tezuka hugged Fuji closer to him, and the tennis tensai happily complied, snuggling up closer to Tezuka’s warmth and completely ignoring the papers and textbooks strewn over Tezuka’s bedroom floor. “I think,” Tezuka said, “this would be a good time to ask if you wanted to go out with me.”

Fuji’s eyes sparkled mischievously as he fixed Tezuka with a stare. “Was that a question?”

Tezuka rolled his eyes. Count on Fuji to ruin the moment. “Yes,” he said.

”Then yes,” Fuji stated, before he reached up and dragged Tezuka down for another kiss.

--

It was only a few days before the match against Hyotei, where Tezuka guessed he would probably play Atobe.

He was holed up in his room again with Fuji, and they were catching up on their homework, while occasionally trading bits and pieces of conversation.

Tezuka and Fuji had decided not to openly declare their relationship. They tried to act aloof and normal as always, although sometimes one of them tripped up. If one of their friends voiced their suspicions, Tezuka and Fuji neither admitted nor denied a relationship. It was best to keep the others guessing.

Tezuka was distracted from his thoughts by the sound of Fuji’s voice. “Ne, Tezuka.”

He looked up at Fuji, who was thoughtfully twirling his pencil. “Hai?”

“I was talking to my uncle yesterday,” Fuji said, his voice bright and innocent. Tezuka’s immediate first thought was that it was going to be something sadistic, perverted, or, if he was lucky, both.

There go the benefits of dating a sadist.

“—The one who’s a botanist, but he specializes in agricultural plants,” Fuji continued. “He was telling me about his latest project, on apples, and he said the main focus of their study was on the Mutsu apple tree.”

Tezuka saw no real meaning behind this, but he patiently allowed Fuji to go on.

“But over the phone, it sounded like he said ‘Mitsu’ apple tree, and I thought it was funny if we were kind of named after apples, ne?” Fuji said. “So then I asked my uncle to repeat the name of the apple tree, and he said it was ‘Mutsu’, not ‘Mitsu’.”

“Well, ‘Mutsu’ is pretty close to ‘Mitsu’,” Tezuka pointed out, feeling rather stupid for having this conversation with Fuji. But then again, Tezuka almost did anything for Fuji.

Tezuka was rewarded for his comment by a flashing grin. “See, ‘Mitsu, that’s what I thought too!” Fuji exclaimed. Tezuka secretly despised his nickname, and only allowed Fuji to call him that, because Tezuka would bite the head off of whoever else dared venture to call him “’Mitsu”.

“So then after I hung up the phone with my uncle, I laid on my bed—” Tezuka could imagine Fuji stretched languorously out on his bed, staring up at the ceiling, “—and I thought that since we both kind of had names like apples, then we must have been meant to be together.”

Tezuka traced Fuji’s jaw line with one long finger. “That’s a very good theory, Syuusuke,” Tezuka said.

Fuji smiled lovingly up at Tezuka again. “I knew you would agree,” he said, before allowing Tezuka to kiss him senseless.

--

Three weeks later, Tezuka’s shoulder was ruined and he was bound to set off on an airplane to Germany.

Fuji had took the news bravely, without shedding a tear, but the one time Tezuka had gone to Fuji’s house to update him on when his plane was leaving, Yumiko had directed him up to Fuji’s room and silently left.

Tezuka paused with his hand on the door, because he could distinctly hear the sound of sobbing inside with a faint “Kunimitsu…”

Tezuka bit his lip as his heart clenched painfully, before he silently turned around and let him out of the house.

--

At least Fuji showed up at the airport, before all of the other Seigaku regulars were due to show up.

“Syuusuke,” Tezuka stated, a bit surprised. Fuji looked tired and sad, but the tennis tensai still cracked a smile for Tezuka’s benefit.

“Over here,” Tezuka said, because it looked like Fuji had something important to say to him. He led Fuji over to a dark, deserted hallway in the airport away from prying eyes.

“Here, Kunimitsu,” Fuji murmured, handing over an envelope. “Don’t open it until you get on the plane though.”

Tezuka nodded, pocketing the blank envelope with his name written on it in Fuji’s neat script. His golden-brown eyes were soft as he looked over Fuji’s slumped form, before he took Fuji into his arms.

“I’m sorry, Syuusuke,” Tezuka murmured against Fuji’s neck.

Fuji crushed himself into Tezuka’s embrace. “Don’t be, Kunimitsu,” he replied thickly. “I know it’s for the best. Just…just get well.”

Tezuka leaned down and slowly, gently, kissed Fuji, trying to fit all of his love and emotions into that one kiss and trying to convey it all to Fuji. Fuji seemed to understand though, because he moaned under Tezuka’s lips.

The sound of passing people broke them apart, and Fuji smiled, more like his customary self, at Tezuka. “That sound like the rest of the regulars,” he said. “Come on; you want to say your good-byes, don’t you?”

--

Echizen had arrived to the airport last, as was customary. Eiji had nearly burst into tears, right then and there, and Fuji watched everything with a bittersweet smile.

Tezuka went around and personally said good-byes to everyone, and gave advice to everybody, and wished Oishi luck with being captain.

The last person Tezuka stopped by was Fuji. “I’ll miss you, Kunimitsu,” Fuji murmured, looking at the ground. Fuji opened his magical blue eyes and pinned Tezuka with them. “Call me?”

“Every day,” Tezuka promised.

If the other Seigaku members overheard the conversation, they tactfully said nothing.

“Flight 326 to Munich is boarding now at Gate 57,” the airport loudspeaker announced, and Tezuka hitched up his bag.

The Seigaku regulars burst into raucous farewells as Tezuka walked towards the gate for his flight, he handed his ticket to the flight attendant, and as he walked down the ramp, he turned around for one last look at the people he all loved, and the people he had sacrificed his shoulder for. He took one last look over all of their faces, memorizing them—Echizen’s bored face as Momo draped himself over the small freshman, on the verge of bawling; Oishi’s stoic and determined face as he readied himself to lead the Seigaku team to victory; Kaidoh’s face that he tried to set to noncommittal, but was failing at; Eiji’s trembling chin as he latched onto Takashi, and Takashi’s melancholy eyes. But it was Fuji’s face that stuck into Tezuka’s mind; Fuji’s beautiful face with his eyes that told Tezuka that he understood why Tezuka was leaving him for Germany, but his sad smile that didn’t want Tezuka to leave and wanted to stay with him forever.

“Shitsurei, minna*,” Tezuka murmured as he stepped onto the humming plane and searched for his seat.

--

It was only after Tezuka was comfortably situated in his seat after the plane had taken off and was now cruising at a nice altitude did Tezuka remember the envelope Fuji had given him.

He neatly slit the envelope open and took out a simple piece of white paper that had a childishly drawn yellow apple with the label “Mutsu apple”, and a red apple, drawn in the same style, labeled “Fuji apple”.

Tezuka chuckled. For all that Fuji was worth in photography, the boy still couldn’t draw an apple.

Between the two apples there was a heart, and Tezuka was touched at the message he read below the drawing.

Apples are meant to be together. I love you, Kunimitsu. Love, Syuusuke.

Tezuka closed his eyes and leaned back against his seat, tightly clutching the simple piece of paper in his hand and envisioning Fuji’s gently smiling face in his mind. “I love you too, Syuusuke,” Tezuka murmured.

--

Now, fast forward seven, eight, or even nine years. Tezuka had long since returned to Japan and led Seigaku to their National Championship title, with the help of Echizen Ryoma, who returned from the United States. After graduating from high school, Tezuka and Fuji attended the same college, the University of Tokyo, the best college in Japan. Both of them had long ago ended their tennis careers, with none of them turning pro, although neither of them objected to an occasional game of tennis every now and then with friends, and their games would usually attract an awestruck audience around the tennis courts.

Both Tezuka and Fuji cheered for their “ochibi”, as Echizen Ryoma turned pro and swept every singles tennis championship, from the U.S. Open to the Australian Open. Takashi still helped run Kawamura sushi, and Tezuka and Fuji often frequented the place to catch up on old times with Takashi. Sometimes, Oishi and Eiji showed up too, if they could get away from their busy jobs at the private tennis school they had opened, and where Tezuka and Fuji often played guest matches to the awe of the children, who had grown up hearing stories of the legendary Tezuka Kunimitsu and Fuji Syuusuke of Seigaku.

Tezuka smiled fondly as he remembered the one time Echizen had come back to Japan for a brief visit, and he and Echizen had faced off in a brutal match at the tennis school. Momo (who was Echizen’s manager) serenaded them all with stories of Echizen’s latest mishaps in America, and the kids crowded around Echizen, asking for his autograph, his picture, and his advice, because they often saw Echizen win tennis championships on TV.

Eiji often commented that “ochibi is turning into a celebrity now!”

As for Echizen, he would just pull his cap lower and mutter “mada mada dane.”

Tezuka was currently sitting on a park bench, waiting for Fuji, and trying to read a book, but instead his mind was wandering. After graduating from the University of Tokyo, Tezuka had decided to pursue medical school at the same university, while Fuji had been getting quite a lot of attention when he started auctioning off some of his pictures from his photography collection, and Fuji decided to commit himself to photography for the time being. This was why both of them had bought an apartment together not so far away from the university, so that Tezuka could attend med school classes. They had moved in, and Tezuka thought everything was perfect, until Fuji shooed him out today, saying with a mysterious smirk, that he needed to redecorate, and that he would give Tezuka a call when Tezuka could come back.

Tezuka tried to argue, but Fuji was firm, so Tezuka gave up and took his book and wandered aimlessly around Tokyo until he had found this particular, shady park a few blocks from their apartment.

His phone buzzed, and Tezuka picked it up. “Moshi-moshi?”

“Kunimitsu,” said Fuji’s slow, almost seductive voice. “You can come back now.”

Tezuka rolled his eyes, although not too disdainfully. “About time.”

--

Fuji was waiting outside of the apartment for Tezuka when he finally showed up. “I want us to enter the new apartment together, to enter this new stage of our lives,” Fuji explained. “I hope you don’t think that’s too mushy, or anything.”

Tezuka was touched. “I think it’s adorable. But…haven’t you already been inside the new apartment already?”

Fuji smiled at Tezuka. “Saa…then, let’s pretend I haven’t.”

Tezuka could agree to that.

Fuji unlocked the door and beckoned for Tezuka to go in first. Tezuka was amazed at the decorating skill Fuji possessed, from the simple polished furniture, to the plain wooden frame surrounding the pictures of Tezuka and Fuji going skiing, Tezuka and Fuji smiling on the day of college graduation, and Tezuka and Fuji holding up their rackets, in their Seigaku jerseys, during the last game they would play as members of Seigaku before going to high school.

But what caught Tezuka’s attention the most, was a bowl set on the front countertop of the kitchen, in plain view when one walked in, and it was filled with apples—looking suspiciously like Mutsu and Fuji apples.

A neat card next to the bowl, bearing Fuji’s handwriting, said, “Apples are meant to be together.”

Tezuka couldn’t help but grin, and Fuji, following Tezuka’s line of eyesight, smiled also. “I thought that it should play a central part,” Fuji murmured. “Apples, because that’s what we are, and we were destined to be together because of them.”

Tezuka kicked the door closed behind them and promptly kissed Fuji on the threshold of their new apartment. He smiled against the curve of Fuji’s lips against his. “Indeed,” he murmured in agreement.

-fin-

A/N: The story of the apple pair – TezuFuji. So now you know why apples are meant to be together! :D :D

* = shitsurei, minna, roughly translates into "goodbye, everybody". 
Tags: apple pair!, apples!, fanfiction!, prince of tennis!, tezufuji
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