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Love and Betrayal Chapter 8

GREEN-EYED ANGEL

{Fujima’s Apartment}

The redhead scanned the apartment again. He still can’t believe that their captain has a place like this. It’s like a bachelor’s pad’s haven for entertaining. He blushed at that thought and quickly shoved the mental image of their captain with a guy, entertaining. Getting rather tired with his exploration of the living room, Sakuragi slowly sank down on the couch and laid his head back. The events of that night eventually took its toll on his body and he is feeling the signs of fatigue. Removing his jersey jacket, he rolled it into a ball and placed it behind his neck to form a cushion. Lying back, he slowly fell into deep slumber and was unaware when a blanket was slowly placed over him to keep him warm. Nor was he aware of the soothing caresses being rendered upon his face.

Fujima just stared at the boy close to him. [Close yet so far.] He just can’t help himself from touching that silky skin, trailing his fingers from his eyebrows down towards those inviting red lips. Never had he experienced this great restraint from picking up the adorable boy and just make him his. But he can’t do that coz’ he knows that the boy will just hate him. He does not want his hate, and he knows he can’t have his love either, but he can have his friendship and trust. He can live with that. Standing up, he can’t resist gazing down again; longing is deeply etched on his pretty face. Succumbing to the temptation he can’t resist anymore, he slowly leaned down and kissed the redhead tenderly on the lips before sauntering towards his bedroom to take a very much-needed shower.

******

{An hour later}

“Aahhh…” Sakuragi moaned. Slowly waking up and rubbing the back of his neck, where the blood suddenly decided to stop circulating. [What a time to have a stiff neck.] Rubbing his eyes, he noticed that there is blanket over his upper body. Stopping midway from stretching his arms up, he stared around and remembered where he was. Mentally berating himself, he called out his captain’s name, “Ken-san?” Standing up, he made his way to the kitchen where cluttering can be heard. Opening the kitchen door, he was taken aback to see his someone cooking and singing a tune he did not know at the same time. Smiling slowly, he takes in the scene before him, hands busy putting something on a pan, an apron wrapped loosely around a slim waist and a walkman clamped firmly on someone’s ears. [What a cute sight.] Shocked… [Now where did that come from?] Slowly…the vision slowly turned around and his heart skipped a beat, for he was staring straight into the most beautiful blue eyes he has ever seen. “Kaede…”

“Hana-chan are you ok?”

Sakuragi snapped out of his reverie and stared into not of blue but the clearest green eyes of his captain. Softly he said, “Ken-san…”

Smiling knowingly, “Don’t worry Hana-chan, I know Rukawa won’t mind if you stayed here for the night. Guess you should call him and tell him where you are. He might be getting worried by now.”

[Are you worried about me Kaede?] “No there’s no need to call.” He said sadly.

“Hana-chan is there anything wrong?” Fujima asked, worried at the sullen expression on his guest. “Come, you better sit down. Have you had dinner yet? I prepared something. Hope you’ll like it.”

Sakuragi obliged and sat on the chair being offered. Smelling the aroma, he suddenly realized that he has not had his dinner yet. Stomach growling, he immediately tackled the food on the table. “It’s delicious Ken-san, where did you learn how to cook like this?”

Delighted that the redhead seemed to have lighten up a bit and is obviously hungry. “My mother taught me how to cook Hana-chan. I enjoyed cooking.”

Noticing something, “Why aren’t you eating Ken-san?”

“I’m not really hungry, besides I cooked this just for you.”

“Really? Gee, thanks.” Sakuragi said, smiling sheepishly.

After a minute of watching the delicious looking redhead stuffing himself more with food. Fujima asked the question that had been plaguing his mind all evening. “Hana… Did you have a fight with Rukawa?”

Sakuragi almost drop the spoon he’s holding with the suddenness of the question. How can he answer that? He refused himself to even think about it tonight let alone talk about it; he just needed to sort it out by himself, in due time. But he found his resistance slowly fading away as he stared into those warm emerald eyes. Sakuragi stifled a job and broke into tears as the flood of emotions suddenly overtook his control.

Surprised, Fujima jumped to his feet and gathered the sobbing redhead in his arms. He felt Sakuragi’s arms went around his waist and cried into his chest. Fujima held the boy close to him and whispered, “Hush Hana. Don’t cry anymore.”

Feeling that the redhead is close to a complete breakdown, he gently raised the latter’s chin up and ever so gently wiped the tears from his eyes. Leaning down, Fujima place a soft kiss over each closed eyelids. Leaning back a little he saw those eyelids flutter open, questioning his actions. Smiling softly at him, he leaned again and kissed Hana’s forehead, slowly he trailed his lips down to kiss those eyelids again, forcing them shut. Not feeling any violent reaction from Sakuragi, he dared to venture downwards – kissing both sides of his cheeks and then, stopping but an inch on top on those red lips, -- [Do I dare?] – his lips answered for him. Lips touched lips in a very soft way. Sticking out his tongue, Fujima licked the redhead’s lips and coerced them to open. Finding the opening, he gently probed deeper, tasting the sweetness that is Hanamichi Sakuragi.

Sakuragi’s mind is in a whirl. He is vaguely aware that the one kissing him is not his boyfriend but his captain. His mind is telling him to punch the guy for kissing him but, deep within, he welcomes this soft and warm intrusion. The kiss was not really passionate but more like comforting him, easing his pain away. He did not withdraw nor did he respond, he just let the other kiss him.

Drawing away, Fujima is glad to see that the tears had stopped and there is a slight redness tingeing the redhead’s cheek.

Opening his eyes, Sakuragi just raised his brown gaze to those beautiful caring eyes and said, “Thank you.”

Smiling down, Fujima just couldn’t help the happiness that he feels for being allowed to kiss the redhead. “You’re welcome and also thank you.” Softly enjoying the feel of the silky red hair flowing in and out his hand.

Tilting his head to the side, “Thank you? What for?”

Fujima just rubbed his nose against the other and playfully said, “for not beating the living daylights out of me for kissing you.” He said and dropping a peck on those warm lips again.

Now blushing really hard, “Er… don’t mention it. It was nice really.”

“Ok so now, how about we go to the living room and you tell me why you just made a pool out of your plate.” He said gesturing to the plate in front of them.

Sakuragi said nothing and just nodded. Removing his arms from Fujima’s waist, he wiped the remnants of the tears in his eyes and followed his captain to the living room.

*********

{A block away from the apartment}

Two figures stopped from a block away to their destination. The slightly taller of the two is glancing quizzically at his companion for the reason behind the hesitation. “What’s wrong Rukawa? Aren’t we going to find out if Sakuragi is there? We did get the correct address right?”

The raven head did not answer. He just stared ahead… straight into the silhouette of the apartment, where he might find his boyfriend. He’s feeling the first few stabs of fear. Fear on what he might find out when he gets there; fear that Hanamichi is not there and they might have to look for him again; fear that even though his Hana is there, he won’t go back with him.

Concerned, “Rukawa are you ok?”

“Yes”

“Then let’s go in. What are waiting for? If he’s there, he’s there. If not then we ask Fujima. At least that’s something rather than standing here all night.” He urged.

Rukawa heard the sense in those words but his feet just won’t obey. They won’t budge. He’s afraid that if he stepped forward his life will be changed once again. Like before. He thought that he’d never have to feel fear again; not the ordinary kind of fear but the fear of loosing someone he allowed to be close to him.

The tall brunette saw the hesitation again in those eyes, [he really has changed.]

“He changed you didn’t he?” Sendoh mused, voicing his thoughts.

The raven head just looked at him as if he had grown another head. “What are you talking about?”

Sighing inwardly, “I mean, l have never seen this side of you before. You always looked so composed and so unaffected by your surroundings. I guess your vocabulary also increased, since I have heard more than one sentence coming out from those lips of yours tonight. But the thing that really gets to me is the way you are handling this situation. You were never scared to act on your feeling. I thought that your motto was… I do what I like and to hell with consequence. Looking at the way you are now…what happened Rukawa?”

Staring at the silhouette of the apartment again, “Hanamichi Sakuragi”

Then he felt a hand was softly laid on his shoulder. Turning, he found his companion wearing a satisfied grin on his face. “Why are you grinning like that?”

“You. I’m grinning at you. That was your last hurdle Rukawa. The last you have to accept.”

“…”

“Accept the change, the change which came with loving someone. You’ve been alone for a long time Rukawa and you seldom let the other’s show the real you. I guess loving him brought back something that is locked within you. You have to accept that and embrace it. Only then will you truly be happy, esp. with a firecracker like that redhead of yours.” Sendoh finished.

Not hearing such words of wisdom from the guy before him, Rukawa just stared, but the meaning behind those words did not escape him. He understood and examining his own feelings, he knew that Sendoh is right – though he’s never gonna tell him that. But before he could straighten things in his life, he has to talk to his beloved and make him understand everything. Only by then will his life be complete. With that in mind, he stated “I will get Hanamichi back. Let’s go Sendoh.”

Satisfied with the determined look in those blue eyes, Sendoh just smiled and followed.

**********************

{Fujima’s apartment}

Upon entering the living room, Sakuragi found his captain already waiting for him. Fujima motioned him to sit on the couch while he took the armchair across him. “So Hana-chan, what did you and Rukawa fight about?”

The redhead just stayed mute and started fidgeting.

“Lemme guess, it has something to do with another tall brunette with equally stunning blue eyes and a rather well toned physique which would make even Apollo himself blush.”

Brown eyes gawked at how his captain described the smiley player, or is it? Not really sure, he queried, “Er… are you talking about….”

“That tall spiky-haired guy from Ryonan, Akira Sendoh. Who else?” Fujima affirmed.

Still surprised with the description, the redhead slowly nodded. “Yes, but how did you know?”

“I noticed their silent interchange on the court tonight. The way they played against each other is different than their old rivalry. There is something in the air. Rukawa was not bent on loosing to Sendoh and vice versa. I guess maybe that’s one of the reasons why we ended up tied. Those two just don’t want to accept defeat from the other. But more importantly, I saw something in Sendoh’s eyes when he looked at Rukawa. There’s definitely longing written in them.” Fujima finished.

Taking a deep breath, “Yes, they were lovers.”

“Ahh.. I figured as much. Care to tell me about it?” He urged.

Sakuragi just found himself retelling the events of the night, carefully omitting that part which happened a year and a half ago. When he finished, he felt equally drained as he felt earlier but surprisingly he did not break into tears and, actually, he felt good after telling it to someone.

“It’s like having a chip taken off your shoulder, right?” Fujima said voicing what he’s about to say. “You know Hana-chan, it always helps to talk things with someone. It’s not healthy to keep things for yourself. It would just break you in time.” He continued.

“Thank you Ken-san, I feel a lot better than before.” It was true; he did feel kind of better.

“Well then, I guess you better find your boyfriend and talk to him. Unless you want Sendoh to really take him away from you.” He joked.

Sakuragi was stunned, what if he’s too late? What if the kitsune is with Sendoh now? But did he really want to be reunited with Kaede? What about that other part? That hurt the most. Can he face him after that? Will they have a chance for happiness with that event between them? Sakuragi buried his face between his hands and started to sob again.

“I don’t know Ken-san, I just don’t know if I can trust him ever again. He had lied to me, kept secrets from me. He betrayed my trust and he had hurt me more than I could ever imagine.” He cried. “How can one bring back trust?”

Fujima just stared. Wondering if there is still something that was left unsaid, something that has broken this guy in front of him. But he kept silent and let the other have his cry. This is difficult. He badly wanted to gather the sobbing boy in his arms and just take away the pain. Take him away from Rukawa, as far as possible. But he knew that it was not the right thing to do. Slowly, he got up from his chair and kneeled in front of Hana. Taking his hands away from his face, he forced the other to look at him. “Hana, I need you to answer me one question truthfully, and you must disregard the hurt and the pain that you are feeling right now. Can you do that?”

“I’ll try.”

“Can you ever see yourself living without your Kaede from this point on?”

“What?”

“It’s an honest enough question Hana, and it requires an equivalent honest answer, an answer that comes deep inside your heart. Answer this question and you’ll find the solution to your problem.” He gently explained, still holding his hands.

[Live the rest of my life without Kaede? Can I do that?] He searched the answer deep within and in an instant he knew what the answer would be. “No I can’t.” He simply answered.

“Can you tell me why?”

Feeling suddenly calm, he stared straight into Fujima’s eyes and said, “Because he is my life.”

Fujima smiled at the answer and slowly wiped the tears from his face, “Knowing that Hanamichi, you have to learn to accept what had happened. Learn from it. Talk to Rukawa, that’s the best solution, and then move on. Don’t let the past hinder your happiness. Forgive and then forget. You just need time and together you can rebuild that trust which you said, might have been lost.”

[But can I do that? Rebuild the trust together… I still don’t know…]

But he was definitely moved by the advice and wondered, “Why are you doing this? Why are you being so kind to me?” Hana asked.

Now it’s Fujima’s turn to be flustered and a tinge of pink touched his cheeks. But he answered nevertheless, “I care for you Hana, very much. I don’t want to see you hurt. I only want to see you happy.”

Realizing what his captain had meant, Sakuragi suddenly felt compassion for the guy kneeling in front of him. He remembered the kiss he received from him and how he felt afterwards. Seeing the sudden sad look in his captain’s green eyes he wanted to return the favor and take away some of the pain he is feeling. Slowly he leaned down and touched his lips against Fujima’s. He kissed him not with love but with sincere gratitude for what the other had shown him tonight. Pulling back, “Thank you Ken-san.” And he smiled a genuine smile, feeling the heavy weight lifted from his shoulders. He wished he could return what the other is feeling for him but he knows that he can’t. [Not while I love Kaede.]

Fujima smiled tenderly at him, he understood why the redhead kissed him. He’s glad that he had helped Hana in a way. Suddenly something outside caught his eye. Focusing his eyes, he was surprised to see who was outside his front door. Smiling inwardly, he got up and said, “Hana, isn’t it time that you look for your boyfriend?”

Straightening himself, “Yes I think it’s time for me to go. Er…where’s the bathroom?” He asked shyly.

Fujima showed him the way and when the redhead went, he immediately went outside to face the burning deadly gaze of Kaede Rukawa.

{Outside the apartment}

Fujima waited till the redhead disappeared into the bathroom before he stepped outside to greet his unannounced visitors. Stepping outside, he softly closed the door behind him. He motioned his visitors to go further away from the door.

Ignoring that deadly glare, “Rukawa, what can I do for you?”

Rukawa was beyond words at that moment, he still can’t erase that image of his redhead’s lips touching the one’s of their captain. [Why?] “I came to get my boyfriend.” He simply stated but his eyes dared him to rebuff his statement.

But the shorter guy did not even flinch nor did he see any worry in those green eyes, if ever they even glinted with something like approval. “That is nice to hear Rukawa. Hana is inside.” He said, motioning him to enter. But instead of moving he asked, “Why was Hana kissing you?”

Fujima knew that he would be asked that question and he was already ready for his answer, “He was just returning something which I gave him earlier.”

Stunned with the meaning behind those words, “You mean you kissed him too?”

He knew that he was courting danger but he just can’t help goading the blue- eyed boy more, “Yup twice.” Holding out 2 fingers but afterwards, “No, 3 times.” The he grinned rather sheepishly at Rukawa.

Rukawa is seeing red; his jealousy is over the top. [How dare he kiss my Hana… how dare he even lay a finger on him.] He was about to punch the guy or something when Sendoh suddenly placed himself between the two. Conveniently shielding Fujima from whatever bodily harm the jealous guy wanted to inflict on the shorter guy. [No sense ruining such a pretty face.] Sendoh thought.

“Now now Rukawa, I think you better go in and get your redhead, no use venting your anger on Fujima here.” He said and started dragging the jealous lover towards the door. But before Rukawa could enter, they heard Fujima say, “Don’t worry Rukawa, the kiss was just platonic. No hidden meaning, at least on your boyfriend’s part, he loves you.” Rukawa just stared but said nothing, then he turned and casually entered the apartment.

Turning around, “Are you nuts? You know how the guy is and yet you intentionally wanted him to cause you bodily harm?”

“Stop whining Sendoh. Rukawa won’t hurt me. He might be jealous but deep down he knows Hanamichi won’t betray him.”

“He may trust Hanamichi but from the looks of it he doesn’t trust you.”

“And what about you? Are you even aware that you might end up in the hospital when Hana sees you?”

Scratching the back of his head he said, “Yeah I know. But I can’t help it, I feel kinna guilty and I wanna help those two out somehow. Hey you know of a place where I can crash for the night?”

“You mean that you went straight to the gym when you arrived? You must have been really desperate.” He said while shaking his head in amazement.

Sendoh just smiled, “Yeah well, the things we do for love.”

Fujima draws his breath as looked at the taller player. [That smile should be certifiable. I wonder how Rukawa could ever resist it.] Suddenly he remembered how he had described this guy earlier and blushed deep red. [Boy you are not yourself Kenji. Get a hold on yourself.] Mentally chiding himself with that thought.

Sendoh noticed the redness on those cheeks and couldn’t help thinking that the former star player of Shoyo is really cute. Not like Rukawa, whose features are both handsome and beautiful. This guy is just plain pretty. Such an angelic face and those eyes… Never had he seen such clear emerald eyes. They looked so inviting. [Stop that Sendoh, you’ve just been dumped and here you are trying to hit on another?] Sendoh stopped his musings when he heard him said, “Come on let’s go get your things. I’ll let you crash in my dorm tonight. Toru is out so you can use his bed.”

Sendoh just raised an eyebrow but said, “Thanks.”

Pausing, he turned and gazed at the close door. “You think they’ll be ok Fujima?”

Following the taller player’s gaze, “Yes, I think they will. A love like theirs always does.

[Hope I find mine someday. Good luck Hana-chan and be happy.]

[Goodbye Kaede. Hope you’ll find happiness and, yourself as well, with your redhead.]

******************************

SDFA © 2002 fgg



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