Rating: PG-13 for Kirihara-mouth and mature subjects
Timeline: Buh? Recent?
Summary: Phonecall one: Eiji breaks down. Phonecall two: Tezuka goes BOOM
It had been a very lengthy day. Tezuka had slipped out to run a couple of errands, and was now returning to his home, shopping bags in hand. "Hello," he announced himself, closing the door behind him after entering.
Eiji sat on the floor in the hallway, next to a small table. On the table was a phone and by the state the cord was in you could easily tell that someone had been twirling that cord almost frantically. Eiji himself stared blankly in front of himself, his face pale. As he heard Tezuka's voice, he turned his head slowly and nodded. "Okaeri..."
Oh dear. Tezuka put his bags down and made his way over to Eiji, crouching down. "Eiji? How long have you been sitting here? Did something happen?" He was decidedly worried. This wasn't normal behavior by any stretch of the imagination.
Biting his lip Eiji blinked a few times, forcing his eyes into focus on Tezuka. "How long? Since the phone rang of course nya..."
"...the phone rang?" Tezuka didn't like the sound of that. "How long ago? Who was it?" If it was one of his family members, well, there might be bloodshed in the streets. If he was feeling particularly vicious.
Eiji turned to face the phone, biting his lower lip again before answering. His teeth left a small mark in the sensitive skin but he didn't notice. "It was mom nya... I don't know how she got this number; I never gave it to her. But... Then dad came and he wanted to talk but I didn't, I just hung up. They were angry nya..."
"..." In that instant, Tezuka went from stoic, mostly-silent buchou of Seigaku to alpha wolf hell-bent on protecting his charge. "From here on out don't answer the phone, Eiji. Let me handle it. Come on; let's get you settled somewhere."
"But no one was home and it rang and I thought it might be important or that I had to leave a message for you guys or something so I picked up the phone... I shouldn't have? Are you angry at me too?" He curled up, knees pulled up to his chest and head buried in the knees. "I'm sorry, Tezuka... I'm sorry..."
"That's why we have voicemail, Eiji." Tezuka sat down on the floor, reaching over to put an arm around Eiji and pull him close. "I'm not angry at you. I'm angry at whoever gave them our phone number. I'm not angry at you. Just let the voicemail get it so you don't have to talk to them."
"Mom said she wants me to come home nya..." Eiji registered somewhere back in his mind that it felt strange, but nice, to be comforted by Tezuka like this and the other boy felt warm, like a normal human being and not cold as his demeanor could lead you to believe.
"The problem is that she won't protect you from your father, Eiji." Tezuka's voice was almost gentle. Almost. He did his best to be comforting, even though he wasn't very good at it. "I would prefer you stay here."
Eiji nodded. "That's why she called. She said I was making things up. I haven't told her anything, so how can I be making things up nya? I don't understand...."
Thin lips pressed together as Tezuka heaved himself to his feet. "That means that she knows perfectly well what's going on and she's trying to make you believe that it's all nonsense. How can you make things up that you've never said?" He extended a hand. "Come; let's sit in the living room."
Eiji couldn't bring himself to move however, he only looked at Tezuka with huge eyes, dark with hurt and confusion. "She... knew? How could she... she didn't... I mean, she..."
"Come here." Tezuka reached down to pull Eiji up gently. "Eiji, how can she say you're making things up...if she doesn't know what you're making up?"
As he got to his feet, Eiji found out that he could barely support himself on his shaking legs so he leaned onto Tezuka as he licked his lips nervously. Random thoughts popped into his mind, his brain working full time on shutting some unpleasant things away, like he usually did, so he could continue to function the way he thought he should. Carefree and jubilant. He didn't want to deal with this, not now, not ever. "I don't know... I just... Uh, Tezuka, how... how was your day?"
Hmmmm. Somebody wasn't very well able to support themselves, so...on a whim, Tezuka reached down, neatly swinging Eiji into his arms. He was a lot stronger than he looked. Thank all the judo practice. "Well enough. Come on, you are going to allow me to wait on you for a while without your attempting to be something you don't feel like being. Hm?"
It felt so nice to be supported like this and Eiji could feel himself calming down at least somewhat. He blinked at Tezuka, the sentence almost lost on him. "What... what do you mean...?"
"You're trying to be what you normally are -- the bright, cheerful Kikumaru Eiji we all know and love." Tezuka had learned that silence wasn't the best of ways around the redhead. He carted Eiji into the other room and sat him down gently. "But you don't feel bright or cheerful. There's no need to try and hide that. Just...be how you feel, not how you think you should feel."
"I don't want to be a bother", Eiji mumbled, looking down on his hands. His nails had grown back from being bit down to the flesh a few months before, but now he felt a sudden urge to put his fingers into his mouth again and chew away. "I was feeling better, really, but now... I don't want to..."
"Eiji." Tezuka reached over to catch his chin in strong fingers, making sure the redhead was looking directly at him. "You are no bother. I want you to merely be yourself, not hide behind any mask you feel you must wear. If you do not feel well, then do not act like you feel well. That is all I ask of you."
"But... but..." Eiji managed to look Tezuka straight in the eyes for maybe two seconds, then his eyes began to waver back and forth, tongue darting out to wet his lips again. "But... I..."
"But nothing. Be yourself." Tezuka didn't smile. He never smiled. But he gave the impression that he just might have if the circumstances were right. "Do you need to lay down for a bit? You look as though you could use it."
"No", Eiji exclaimed, eyes wide again. "No lying down! He'll come and he'll hurt me if I lie down. Just please... stay here? Can't we talk about something else nya? Can't we talk about you for once? Please?"
"Nobody will hurt you as long as I am here." And that, ladies and gentlemen, was a command rather than a request. Tezuka sat down next to Eiji, tucking an arm around him. "I don't know that there's much to say about me. I'm quite dull. But ask away if you'd like."
"Tezuka's not dull, nya. Eiji doesn't think so at all!" Eiji leaned into Tezuka's shoulder and continued: "Well, Eiji thought so at first but he doesn't anymore. I was pretty mean to you back when we were first years... And I stole Oishi away. Why don't you hate me, nya?"
*COUGH* What the..."...you stole Oishi away?" If Tezuka was the kind of person to laugh he would have howled at that one. "You stole nothing. Friendships are not to be stolen or hoarded; they grow stronger the more you share them. I have no reason to hate you, Eiji, and plenty of reason to admire you for your strength."
"Are you sure? I mean... Weren't you pretty lonely back then? And then I came and hogged Oishi all the time..." He sighed and decided to drop this, since he could just maybe tear up wounds that Tezuka wouldn't want to be reopened. "But I shouldn't be talking about that right? Since if it was bad for you, you probably wouldn't want to talk about it now, and say that it wasn't bad to make either me or you or both happier, but then I bring it up and it turns out that it's really bad, so then you get sad and... Uh... I should shut up, right?" Blink.
Actually..."I have always been a very solitary person by nature, Eiji. You didn't hurt me at all; I was very very happy that Oishi found such a good friend in you." Tezuka rarely allowed wounds to fester, instead either not sustaining them in the first place or allowing them to heal and move on. "It's quite all right. I had Fuji, among others."
"Yes you did... Fuji's great nya... I haven't heard from him in like for ever..." Eiji frowned. "I'm worried. What did you do? I mean, you and Fuji? When you were alone and stuff. Rumor had it he was just smiling and you were just sitting there and looked like you and you didn't talk at all..."
Okay, that was damn funny. "Not far from the truth. We played a lot of chess." Now how was that for boring? No, Tezuka and Fuji were not ever inflagrante delicto, thank you. "Or studied. Nothing of interest."
Eiji managed to giggle slightly at that and shook his head. "I'm sure it was interesting nya. You know... Since the two of you are super bright and stuff. I bet your chess games were like real battles or something. Fuji can get pretty vicious if he wants to."
"It was never particularly vicious. Fiercely competitive, yes, but never vicious." Tezuka shrugged absently. "Really, my personal life is very boring. It always has been."
"But, but, but... Aren't you dating someone from Hyoutei too nya? That has to be interesting, right? Want to tell me something about him?"
Mm. "Yes. Ohtori Choutarou -- I know you remember him; the one with the Scud Serve. They defeated Inui and Kaidoh." Tezuka almost-smiled. Almost. "Though really, that's quite dull as well."
"Come on", Eiji coaxed. "It can't be that bad! I mean... you must do some interesting things when you're together, right? Have you met his parents? Have he met yours? I've met yours nya." Which was because he lived at Tezuka's house right now and Ohtori did not. Of course.
"Eiji..." Tezuka sighed. "I have met his parents, yes. He has not met mine, nor will he, because they will not react well to the idea of me dating a member of my own gender. So please, do not bring it up."
Eiji pouted but nodded. The last thing he wanted to do was mess up Tezuka's relationship with his parents. Right, parents. Eiji sighed, but as he had managed to collect himself right now, he thought he might be ready to talk a bit more. "You know... She said if I wanted to press charges, she'd testify against me. And guys can't legally be raped in Japan, so I wouldn't have that much of a chance but... You think I should press charges? I've never really thought about that before. It seems so serious, you know?"
"Proof positive she knows all the details, else she wouldn't say such things -- and all the more reason for you not to return home if your own mother would testify against you." Tezuka made a face. "It is up to you. I am of the opinion that you should; with the right lawyer you might have a much better chance than you realize. But it is your decision. Regardless, you cannot go back there."
"How can she do that", the redhead whispered, shaking his head. "I don't understand her at all. I mean, I love her, she's my mom... She's always been nice and kind and you know... A mom."
"...who is caught in a very bad position and is probably also a very traditional Japanese woman, trained to bow to her husband's will in all things." Tezuka sighed, smoothing a hand over Eiji's arm. "Ours is not to reason why in this case. Ours is merely to do what is best for you."
"Thanks..." Eiji leaned back and closed his eyes. "But... Like... I don't know where to go if I'm not ever to go home again. I can't stay here forever, right?"
"We shall cross that bridge when we come to it." Tezuka stayed near, lending what support he could. "Do not worry about it for now."
"But I've stayed here for so long and..." Whatever it was Eiji was going to say, he forgot it immediately as he paled considerably. The phone was ringing again. The angry signals echoed through the house as Eiji felt himself shrink away more and more. "You... should answer..."
"Stay here. Everything will be fine." Tezuka rose, moving to pick up the phone. "Tezuka residence, how may I help you?" His phone voice was as brisk and businesslike as everything else about him.
Eiji nodded and reached over to grab a pillow that he pressed hard against his chest. Please let it be someone else, please let it be someone else...
"Who's this? I mean, is it some old Tezuka dude or is it the young one?" said the voice on the other end of the line.
...some old Tezuka dude...???? "Tezuka Kunimitsu speaking." And yes, he was going to be polite. Will be polite, will be polite..."To whom am I speaking?"
"This is Kirihara Akaya, I'm sure you remember me." Because Kirihara knew for a fact that he usually left an impression on people that he met. They'd better remember him. "You're a friend of Sanada, right?"
"Kirihara-kun?" Now how the hell had the Rikkai punk gotten Tezuka's phone number? He glanced in at Eiji, who surely heard that it WASN'T a member of his family, then went on. "I certainly do remember you, yes, and I am a friend of Sanada-san's. To what do I owe the pleasure of this phone call?"
Eiji relaxed somewhat as he heard the name of the caller, instead his curiosity perked but he forced himself not to listen too closely. Phone calls were private after all, and he didn't want to snoop.
"I was just wondering... You know... You're being nice to Sanada, right? Kamio said you were a good guy and all, but Sanada's important to me. You're not gonna hurt him, right?"
This was a decidedly unusual phone call. Tezuka's voice sobered. "I would never in this lifetime or the next do anything to hurt Sanada-san," he stated soberly. "I value his friendship far too highly to ever risk damaging it in such a way...what prompted this?"
"Nothing really. I just wanted to check. Because me and Kamio talked about Sanada and then you came up and I wanted to check you out for myself. I'm only looking out for Sanada, okay? Chill down."
The fact that Kamio and Kirihara were even talking was impressive enough. That they were talking about Sanada and his name came up...Tezuka managed to force the chill that was threatening to go down his spine back to where it came from. "I assure you, I am every bit as protective of him as you ever were. I have seen too much to ever wish to hurt him. You have my word on that."
Even if Tezuka couldn't see it, Kirihara on his end nodded slowly while scratching himself on the back of his head. "Good. If you hurt him I'll get nasty, and you don't want me to get nasty. Just remember that. Why are you together with Ohtori? He's pretty dull, isn't he?"
"I would never hurt him...what does Ohtori have to do with this?" Tezuka eyed the phone dubiously. "I am far duller than Ohtori-kun could ever be, I would wager."
At this Eiji couldn't keep down a squeaky: "You're not!" and Kirihara frowned: "Who's there? Anyway, you being together with Ohtori has everything to do with this, okay? What are you, stupid?"
"Kikumaru is visiting." Tezuka clearly didn't regard that as being a big deal. "Everything to...Kirihara-kun, are you trying to link me with Sanada-san?" He was now officially dumbfounded, which means that Eiji was going to get the rare treat of seeing Tezuka look like someone poked him in the rump with a safety pin.
Luckily enough Eiji had turned to look at Tezuka after his little comment and now he stared wide eyed at the expression on the other boy's face. What was Kirihara saying to Tezuka? I couldn't be very nice...
"Maybe. What's it to you if I am? You're better of with Sanada anyway."
"What do you mean, I'm better off with Sanada-san?" Tezuka's expression was more like he was very very shocked by whatever was going on. This was so not the kind of thing that usually happened to him. "What leads you to this conclusion?"
At this point, Eiji's eyes almost popped out of their sockets and it was a wonder that his flapping ears didn't elevate him right of the couch.
Kirihara sighed. "Well, because you dimwit. Sanada's way cooler than that Hyoutei kid. I mean, he's nice and all, I've met him and I nearly clobbered him and shit, but... I mean come on! But only if you're good enough for him of course. I hope you are."
"You nearly what?" It was very very good for Kirihara that Tezuka was too stunned to process that, else he'd be out for blood at any threat to Ohtori. "I should think I would be," he finally said with as much dignity as he could possibly muster. "Though I still fail to see where you come in to all this, or indeed why it is suddenly relevant." Songs in his journal notwithstanding.
"... " Kirihara thought for a moment, then decided to drop the bomb. It was in Sanada's best interest, right? "It's fucking relevant because he's fucking in love with you, okay? It's like... totally obvious!" So screw the fact that he himself needed Kamio to tell him point blank. Sanada was a difficult person to read, okay?
"...what??" Yes, well, Tezuka had had a good clue after that song in his journal but actually hearing someone SAY it was another story entirely. He stood there like an idiot, staring at the wall, then finally mustered up enough brainpower to speak. "I...see. I shall have to take your advice into consideration." Which sounded stupid, but he couldn't come up with anything else to say.
Eiji blinked, rubbed his eyes and then blinked again. No, he wasn't imagining things There was Tezuka... Looking almost like he did sometimes when looking himself in the mirror. Too weird.
"You better." With that, he hung up.
For a while, all Tezuka could do was eye the phone like it was going to bite him. He then hung the receiver up, very carefully, and went back into the living room to sit next to Eiji. "I will have to figure out how Kirihara-kun got my phone number," he said absently.
Eiji uncurled himself from the pillow and got to his feet. "Tezuka... are you okay? What was that all about?"
"Ah...quite possibly not a good topic at the moment, Eiji." Tezuka needed a moment to get his wayward wits underneath him. He was officially mentally fried. "I just received some...very interesting news, that is all."
"Oh really? What news?" No, Eiji wasn't the brightest of the bunch, thanks for noticing. "Uhnyaa, I think you really need to sit down. Maybe we could take a nap together nya?"
tezuka23: "Just...very interesting news." Tezuka figured reiterating his previous statement was safest. He just STARED at the redhead for a moment, then snorted. "Laying down might be good, yes." Shock to the system, much?
Eiji blinked at the LOOK Tezuka gave him, then decided to shrug it of. He patted on the spot next to him and grinned: "Come on, lay down! And you know..." His face grew serious. "If there's anything you want to talk about, you can talk to me, okay, nya?"
"I shall remember that." Though there was NO way that Tezuka was talking about this any time soon to anybody. He settled next to Eiji, sighing. Such a day. Such an insane day, and hadn't even really been that long of a day yet. Bother.
Eiji yawned, and if Tezuka were to ask him, he would have agreed. It had been a very long day indeed, for a short one anyway. He sighed, closed his eyes and snuggled up next to Tezuka.
It was hard to stay completely frazzled when Eiji was snuggling up next to you. Tezuka set his mental alarm clock for ten minutes before his parents got home -- he'd filled them in on a few things, though, so they ought not to be shocked if they saw Eiji cuddling up to him on the couch. That done, he let his brain go into torpor, entering a state where he wasn't thinking about the bomb he'd just had dropped on him.