So, last night, as I was finishing this up with yomimashou and I realized that the first half of this has a striking similarity to the song Hallelujah which has been covered by a variety of artists, my favourite of which is Rufus Wainwright. The lyrics can be found here (for reference, the "her" would be Fuji in this case XD;), so if you'd like, listen to it afterward or during the first part and see what you think! I was weirded out by the similarities. XD;;;
Anyway, without further ado:
Disclaimer: Konomi's characters, our craziness!
Warnings: BL, angst like crazy, mentions of dubcon, abusive relationships, language, violence of the domestic variety... basically, everything and its brother (hur hur hur)
Yuuta laid Mizuki down on his bed and went to get a damp washcloth from the bathroom. He needed to get Mizuki changed and cleaned up, and for now, he was going to focus on that and not on what he had just witnessed--no, what he had just done. Returning with the washcloth, he stripped off Mizuki's clothes and began to gently clean the cum off his face, legs, and belly. "Mizuki-san..." he whispered. What have I done?
Once Mizuki was clean, Yuuta dressed him in a frilly, baby blue nightgown from his dresser and tucked him under the covers. He turned to leave, but without another task to keep his mind occupied, all of his guilt and confusion came flooding back, and he sank into a chair, deciding he should wait there until Mizuki woke up, and maybe sort out some of his thoughts in the meantime.
Yuuta had just willingly received a blowjob from Mizuki while Syuusuke was...well, it had seemed awfully close to rape. His brother molesting his boyfriend had turned him on enough that he hadn't made any move to stop him. What did that make Yuuta? Something terrible, he was sure of that much. Mizuki had gone through so much pain and humiliation, and now... Now he probably didn't want to see Yuuta ever again. Yuuta didn't deserve to be Mizuki's boyfriend anymore, and gradually, he realized that he would have to tell Mizuki that he understood that when he awoke.
Slowly, very gradually, Mizuki began to drift into awareness; he could feel a warmth at the ends of his extremities, which was odd, because Mizuki was always cold. After the warmth came the feeling of soreness; his shoulders, back, rear, and inner thighs, he began to realize, all ached. Somewhere, though he couldn't tell whether it was closer or farther away, he was aware of someone else, someone breathing and moving around, if the sound of rustling fabric was any indication. Mizuki vaguely wondered who it was, but it was as if his thought process was moving through water, and processing information seemed like the most difficult task in the world. He was distantly aware that he must be in bed, because there were covers over him and his expensive goose-down pillow beneath his head, but he couldn't remember going to bed...
After another moment of contemplation, he forced his eyes open. Looking around, sure enough, he was in his dorm room at St. Rudolph, and the person... the person was Yuuta, and looking absolutely abysmal. There was something about the look of pure guilt on his face that made Mizuki's stomach turn over inside him, and it was in that moment that he remembered what happened, remembered what Fuji Syuusuke had done. Swallowing, he forced himself into a sitting position, which was labor in and of itself and caused his legs and rear to hurt even more, but it seemed necessary. Delayedly, he noticed he had been cleaned up and was now dressed in a nightgown... Yuuta, as always, had done more than was necessary for him. It was amazing, really, and never ceased to amaze Mizuki, and he couldn't stop the corner of his lips from curling up a tiny bit. "Thank you, Yuuta-kun..." he spoke softly, before he really thought about it, "For taking care of me." He knew he'd have to address what had happened, but... really, he didn't want to think about it, and he was still waking up, and so it could wait.
Yuuta's heart ached with guilt as he watched Mizuki struggle to sit up. When Mizuki thanked him, he had to look away. How could he be thanking him after what had happened? "Mizuki-san, I..." Yuuta swallowed, unsure what to say. Was he really about to break up with Mizuki? Now that he was awake and looking at him, Yuuta wasn't sure if he had the courage to go through with it. He knew it was what he had to do, but he just couldn't seem to get the words out, not yet, at least. "How...how are you feeling?" he said instead, still looking away.
Mizuki swallowed again, fingering the blankets over him. His body ached, his wrists and knees were bruised-- hell, he had passed out on the floor of the clubroom. And normally, Mizuki wouldn't hesitate to complain about any of it, would rattle off to Yuuta every one of his tiniest ailments, but he couldn't quite bring himself to it, not now. Not when Yuuta had seen him so entirely out of control, not when, right before Yuuta's eyes, he had let Fuji Syuusuke bind him, force him to the ground, fuck him like a common whore... He should have known better than to play with fire when Yuuta was around, he should have, but he had to bait Syuusuke... and now he would have to face the consequences. If there was someone he could trust... well, Mizuki wasn't entirely sure he trusted anyone still, but Yuuta was certainly the closest. Yuuta, after all, was the one who stayed, the one who chose him, out of all the options... Yuuta was the only person Mizuki had allowed himself to love in a very long time. He was ashamed, yes, but certainly Yuuta would understand... He'd taken care of everything until now, after all... and Yuuta was nothing like his brother. Yuuta would certainly understand. Shifting, he looked down at his lap. "I'm... I'm all right, Yuuta-kun, thank you." Looking up, he was met with that terrible guilty look again, and his heart wrenched painfully. "... You?"
"I feel so terrible, Mizuki-san!" Yuuta burst out. "How can you even look at me?" he said, more quietly. There was no sense in putting it off any longer; he'd decided what he was going to do and now he just had to do it. "I...I don't deserve to be your boyfriend, not after...after what I did!" He felt tears prickling at his eyes, but he willed them back, squeezing his eyes shut. "I'm so sorry..." He stood, not trusting himself to look at Mizuki without breaking down.
Mizuki looked up at Yuuta, his eyes wide and glazed with confusion as Yuuta stood. What... what was he talking about? Yuuta was talking about his... worth...? It didn't make any sense... Yuuta had to know that he meant everything to Mizuki. But then... well, Yuuta had seen... seen him bent over before his brother, crying and... and begging... It... It only followed that Yuuta wouldn't want to be around him anymore, would be disgusted with him... After all, Mizuki was disgusted with himself, and after seeing him lose control... Yuuta was tearing it from him even further, he supposed. The fact was, Yuuta was breaking up with him because of what had happened.
And so, having realized this, Mizuki began to cry. After all, how couldn't he? Yuuta was everything to him, Yuuta was the only person to whom he had opened himself. And now... well, there was no use thinking it about, but it hurt so, so badly, and what did it matter now? And so Mizuki cried, looking back down at his lap, because he couldn't bear to watch, even after everything, as Yuuta walked away from him.
Yuuta had heard Mizuki start crying as he walked toward the door, and once he was in the hallway, he broke into a run, just making it into his own room before he too began to cry. He collapsed on his bed, feeling absolutely miserable. Vaguely he knew that he should have waited a little longer before he left, said something more, at least made sure there was no misunderstanding... But it had been too painful, standing there next to Mizuki, who--by Yuuta's own fault--would no longer be there to give Yuuta advice, to coach him, to pay attention to him in his own right, not just as the brother of Fuji Syuusuke.
The thought of his brother made Yuuta's thoughts go in a different direction, though. He knew he was responsible for what had happened to Mizuki, but so was Syuusuke. As he thought about what his brother had done, and how his life was now falling apart because of it, Yuuta felt a growing desire for some kind of revenge. He had been a goal to reach before, but now...now Yuuta wanted to crush him. He wanted to see Syuusuke as humiliated as Mizuki had been in the club room, and the only way he knew to do that was through tennis. He would beat his brother, had to beat his brother, and this was the thought running through Yuuta's mind as his tears slowed and he finally fell asleep.
Mizuki didn't sleep that night. After Yuuta left him, he continued to cry-- after all, control had been wrenched from him so entirely, it simply didn't matter anymore. It was as if his entire life had crumbled at the fingertips of Fuji Syuusuke, and Mizuki felt empty inside, hollow, useless. He cried for a good hour, and, when he felt he could cry no more, he pushed back the covers, sat up, and thought. After all, he couldn't waste away the rest of his life because of this-- certainly, his heart was broken, but if nothing else, he would simply learn from this, would add another layer of impenetrable indifference above his skin. He knew better, now-- Mizuki had preservation instincts, after all-- than to fall in love, than to open up to anyone. He wasn't about to lie down and die; that would be stupid. He would move on.
But even Mizuki was human, and though he knew he needed to move on, he wasn't sure how. Seeing Yuuta every day-- it wasn't an option, it would be far too painful. Tennis, of course, was completely out of the question, but Mizuki wasn't even sure he could remain at St. Rudolph Gakuin... the chance of seeing Yuuta around was too great. Mizuki knew he was competent and intelligent and strong, but at the sight of the only person with whom he had fallen in love, the only person who had broken his heart, he didn't know if even he was strong enough to stand it. He might be stubborn, but Mizuki hated losing control, and he knew when he should avoid situations where he would lose it. Which meant only one thing-- Mizuki could no longer remain at St. Rudolph.
That left the question of where he ought to go. After a relapse back into tears for a few minutes, Mizuki was able to distract himself with his laptop and the websites of all the private middle schools in the area. Though he had the vague feeling he ought to sleep, he also had the feeling that, if he lay in bed again, it would only mean more pain and tears, and Mizuki was more in control than that. And so he spent the night in front of his computer screen before, at 5:34 am, he came to the decision that he would be attending Rikkai Daigaku Fuzoku as of next week. It was not a question-- he would. With a sigh, he set about filling out the St. Rudolph transfer forms. He was tired, but this wasn't going to do itself, and, Mizuki knew, it was definitely preferable to sleep.
Yuuta was not surprised when Mizuki didn't show up at tennis practice on Monday--after all, Mizuki probably wanted to avoid him as much as possible. When he continued not to come to practice, though, Yuuta started to wonder if he would ever be coming back. He wasn't expecting Mizuki to help him anymore, but he had thought tennis was something Mizuki liked... Tennis was the only thing that was getting Yuuta through the days, and he hated to think how awful it must be for Mizuki to have to survive without it. When he was practicing, Yuuta didn't think about what he'd done or how he'd screwed up his life and Mizuki's; he just thought about pushing himself harder, getting better, getting stronger.
When Yuuta saw people moving what was unmistakably Mizuki's flowered luggage into a van, however, he felt his heart plummet into his stomach, and he sprinted back to his room before anyone could see the tears running down his face. Had he made Mizuki hate him that much, that he couldn't even stand to be in the same school as him? Yuuta felt overwhelmed again with guilt and shame. As he lay on his bed, crying, he wished that there were something he could do to make it better, to help Mizuki...but Mizuki had now made it overwhelmingly clear that he didn't want to see Yuuta ever again, so really, anything he tried would just make it worse.
He knew he had to try to act normal, though, if he was going to get through this, so the following Saturday, when the rest of the St. Rudolph regulars were hanging out after dinner, he tagged along. As they all joked and laughed, he nodded along and forced a smile, feeling acutely lonely. He wondered if he should have come at all, but sitting alone in his room wouldn't have done anyone any good either...
"Hey, Yuuta... earth to Yuuta da ne!" Yanagisawa waved a hand in front of Yuuta face urgently, watching as the other boy blinked, as if startled back into reality. Yuuta had been completely sulky since last weekend, which was about the same time that Mizuki had disappeared from practice. Of course, these facts had been through the gossip mill several times and several people had come up with several theories, but Yanagisawa felt entirely confident that he knew the facts. He and Atsushi had been in an argument as to what happened, and seeing as Yuuta had been something of a recluse for the past week, there had been no way to confirm. It had gotten to the point that whoever lost the argument was paying for dinner tomorrow night, and now that Yuuta had finally emerged into the light of day, Yanagisawa saw this as a perfect opportunity. Having gotten Yuuta's attention, he cleared his throat to pose his question.
"Yuuta, we've been wondering da ne. What happened with Mizuki last weekend da ne? I heard he's transferring to Rikkai da ne! All the way in Kanagawa Prefecture da ne! We're gonna miss him da ne. So what happened da ne? Did you guys break up or something da ne?" That had been Yanagisawa's guess, that Yuuta had dumped Mizuki, and Mizuki, being the drama queen he was, was making a huge deal out of it. Atsushi, who was now gaping at Yanagisawa in what seemed to be horror (he did that a lot, and Yanagisawa could never figure out why) had been of the belief that something bad had happened to Mizuki, like a relative dying or something, but Yanagisawa was officially of the belief that Mizuki had little to no soul, and thus, the argument had begun. Despite the look Atsushi was giving him, however, Yanagisawa turned back to Yuuta, expectantly waiting for an answer.
Yuuta looked down. "Yeah...we broke up," he said. "It...it was my fault..." He tried to keep his voice steady, knowing that everyone was probably staring at him. He had known this would be coming at some point, but...what more could he say? He certainly couldn't tell them what had really happened, so hopefully Yanagisawa would be satisfied with that.
"Really da ne?! You dumped him da ne?!" Yanagisawa realized only rather belatedly that he shouldn't have sounded quiet so happy about this news, and added quickly, "Uhh-- I mean, I'm sorry da ne! I'm sure everything'll be okay da ne! I mean, at least you don't have to see him around anymore da ne!"
It was at this point that Yanagisawa was forcibly quieted by Atsushi's hand clapping tightly over his mouth and Atsushi's elbow digging rather painfully into his side, and in the absence of his bumbling, Kaneda stepped forward, if rather timidly, and hesitantly placed a hand on Yuuta's shoulder. "I'm sorry, Fuji-kun... I don't mean to pry, but... if there's anything we can do, or if you want to talk about it, or anything like that..." He trailed off, and if he started to say anything else, it was cut off by Yanagisawa's noises of suffocation until Atsushi finally lifted his hand. "So did he really go to Rikkai da ne? Don't you know anything else da ne? We're really sunk without him da ne--" But he was cut again with Atsushi's palm and made a loud noise of discontent while Atsushi looked absolutely mortified. "I'm sorry, Yuuta-kun, forgive his manners..." In truth, Yuuta looked as if he was about to cry, and if he actually did, Yanagisawa was getting a stern talking-to later. Honestly, sometimes even Atsushi wasn't sure what to do with him.
Yuuta swallowed and took a deep breath, getting a hold of himself before saying, "Th-that's all right... A-and thanks," he added, glancing at Kaneda. He could never actually talk to Kaneda about what had happened; the boy would probably faint and most definitely be disturbed, but it was a nice thought. He wondered if Mizuki was actually going to Rikkai... It made sense, if Mizuki wanted to get away from him. "I really don't know anything else. We haven't talked since last weekend and..." Yuuta felt his throat getting tight. "Can we not talk about this anymore?" he managed, his voice breaking slightly.
Yanagisawa opened his mouth again, but Atsushi elbowed him harder in the side. Kaneda looked unsure, but Akazawa looked as if he may or may not have been on the verge of dragging him away, anyway, and so Atsushi nodded. "Hope you feel better, Yuuta," he commented, trying to sound nonchalant, before changing the subject. "So, anybody else want to go see that new movie that's coming out next weekend?" Yuuta still looked fairly miserable, but, then again, he had just broken up, and if he wanted it, Atsushi would let it be.
Meanwhile, Mizuki was deciding he didn't like living on his own. Having his own apartment was a lot of work, and Mizuki didn't like work. Still, without tennis, he had a lot of free time, which helped... and really, being on his own wasn't so bad. He didn't have to worry about getting close to anyone because no one was around, and Rikkai was a rather agreeable school. Sure, there were girls, which was a bit of a pain, but he did look fetching in the uniform, if he might say so himself, and he had a clean slate-- St. Rudolph had never made it up against Rikkai in any tournament, so he had no reputation here. He was free to act as he pleased, and during the day, when his mind was busy, it was fine.
But back alone in his apartment, that was the problem. For the past year, Mizuki had always had Yuuta around to keep him company when he was lonely, to keep him warm at night, and though Mizuki didn't think he was so weak as to lose to his own miserable thoughts when he had nothing else to occupy his mind, he discovered, when he found himself waking in tears from dreams of Yuuta, that, in fact, he wasn't as strong as he thought. Which meant he, being the intelligent boy he was, had to come up with a solution to keep Yuuta off his mind.
It did take him a few days, but the answer was relatively simple. On the superficial level, Yuuta could be replaced relatively easily-- Mizuki knew he was attractive and he certainly knew how to make the best of it. Before he had Yuuta to hold his attention, he had certainly flirted quite a bit (it got Akazawa eating out of his hand for quite a while, which had worked out nicely for Mizuki), and he knew he could get what he wanted. And now that he was here where no one knew him, he had plenty of boys for the picking, he could certainly keep himself occupied in the evenings. Mizuki wasn't stupid enough to confuse sex with love, and sex had the plus side of getting him control, as well. It was altogether a good plan, and so, after being at Rikkai for a week, Mizuki painted himself with another layer of lacquer and set himself out to find a new boyfriend.
He went through quite a few boys at Rikkai first, because they were convenient and it was easy, but after a while, they got boring. As much as Mizuki hated to admit it, no one was quite as attractive to him as those he had met over the years on the tennis circuit. He wasn't sure why; perhaps it was the strength that he was attracted to, but somehow, he found himself seeking out members of the old loop, and almost without realizing what he was doing, he was somehow the steady boyfriend of Saeki Koujirou.
But it was all right, really; it wasn't like Mizuki didn't know what he was doing. If he ignored the freak coincidence of Saeki's childhood attachment with the Fuji family, Saeki was everything he was looking for: easy to win over, confident enough to think he was the one in control, willing to buy Mizuki things and take care of him so that Mizuki didn't have to, and good in bed. Mizuki wasn't particularly planning on keeping him very long, but he proved useful, and so, until he got bored, Mizuki decided he could stay.
Which was why, now, a Saturday night three weeks from Mizuki's departure from St. Rudolph, Mizuki was here, back in Tokyo (it was sort of a compromise between Chiba and Kanagawa), walking down the street with his arm in Saeki's and his prettiest fake smile pasted on his lips. Having been treated to dinner, Mizuki had kindly offered to pay for dessert (Saeki had turned down his offer, a fact for which Mizuki had planned, anyway), and so they were on their way to get ice cream. He was almost, almost on the verge of contentedness-- he certainly hadn't been happy since Yuuta had dumped him, but he could get used to this, he could be content... and he was going to have to be, because there was no going back. Putting on a smile, he stopped, forcing Saeki to stop and blink down at him curiously. Mizuki only looked back at him before leaning up and kissing him, mostly to convince himself that this wasn't so bad, really, it wasn't so bad.
Over the next few weeks, Yuuta continued to immerse himself in tennis and occasionally schoolwork, to the exclusion of nearly everything else. He knew his friends were worried about him, but it got him through the days, and he thought he could feel himself getting stronger. He'd never thought about wanting a boyfriend before he'd met Mizuki, so now he would just have to go back to the way things had been before. He would just have to forget about how it had felt to hold Mizuki close, to kiss him, to hear him whisper Yuuta's name into his ear...
After that first awkward Saturday night with his friends, Yuuta had mostly given up on trying not to be a recluse. After three weeks of that, though, they had gotten fed up with him, and Yanagisawa and Atsushi had announced that he was coming with them to get ice cream, whether he liked it or not. Yuuta protested at first, but they just told him to shut up and change out of his tennis clothes, and that was how he found himself sitting in an ice cream shop, licking his ice cream and feeling more than a little like a third wheel.
Yuuta was looking around the shop, not really paying attention to the story Yanagisawa was telling, when the door opened and in walked Mizuki, on the arm of...Saeki? "Oh my god," Yuuta whispered, hunching over so that he was partially hidden behind Yanagisawa. So Mizuki had a new boyfriend. Yuuta knew he should be happy about that, he really should, but as much as he tried to tell himself that, looking at them just made his stomach twist painfully. "Why is he here?" he whispered urgently, wishing he could just melt into the ground, or something.
Mizuki didn't notice Yuuta until after he had placed his order and left Saeki at the counter to pay; he had been looking for a table when he caught sight of Atsushi, Yanagisawa, and half of Yuuta, who appeared to be trying to hide, behind them. So Yuuta didn't want to see him so much that he would hide? It made Mizuki's heart wrench miserably at first, but the feeling was quickly replaced by disgust-- really, it was pathetic. It was a little bit comforting, actually; if Mizuki could bring himself to hate Yuuta, perhaps it would hurt less.
Of course, now he had seen them and was sure they had seen him, and that brought him to another issue-- he would have to go be social and, even worse, actually civil. But it wasn't so bad; Mizuki had always been good at being an ice princess when he needed to be, and so he made a show of being surprised and sauntered over, smiling with a sharp edge. "Why, what a surprise! How are you all? Yanagisawa-kun, Kisazaru-kun... Yuuta-kun."
Yuuta felt his breath catch in his throat as he took in Mizuki's apparent nonchalance at seeing him. "H-hello, Mizuki-san. I-I'm doing well, thanks." When he glanced at them, Yanagisawa and Atsushi seemed to be watching the exchange with some amount of fascination and worry, respectively. Yuuta wondered if Mizuki was really doing as well as he appeared. He knew that should make him happy--he wouldn't have to feel so guilty anymore, maybe, and it would be one more excuse to try to move on--but the logic didn't outweigh the ache in his chest. "How...how are you?" he asked tentatively.
"I'm wonderful, Yuuta-kun," Mizuki replied, smiling widely. "Rikkai is a lovely school, you know, and there are so many pleasant people there. I'm quite happy." Hell, just looking at Yuuta was painful, but lying was easy as it always was, and he was pleased to find he could easily swallow back the urge to cry. "How about you? I trust the team is getting on without me?" He couldn't help his lip curling up slightly into a smirk; he knew he was what made the team anything, and without him, they had absolutely no chances. If anything, the vindictive pleasure could drown out the slight burn of shame in his chest at the memory of his last incident with his ex-boyfriend.
Yuuta swallowed. He would not cry, he told himself. If Mizuki could be "wonderful," so could he, he found himself thinking rather bitterly. "Oh, you...you know... we're still practicing hard, getting stronger, like...like always," he said, attempting nonchalance. "I'm glad you're enjoying...Rikkai..." His voice trailed off as he spotted Saeki approaching behind Mizuki.
Yuuta really was pathetic, Mizuki told himself; did just seeing Mizuki so disgust him that he couldn't talk coherently? Still, Mizuki's situation now was obviously the superior, and if he couldn't be happy, he could at least be superior. Following Yuuta's gaze, he noticed Saeki and smiled sweetly, accepting his ice cream and pecking him on the lips. Allowing Saeki to wrap an arm around his waist, he turned back to Yuuta. "Oh, and this is my boyfriend, Koujirou... you know him, don't you, Yuuta-kun? He's been awfully sweet to me, especially since I've been having a tough time, moving and all..." It was so easy to spit such pretty lies, but somehow, hurting Yuuta wasn't as fulfilling as it should have been... it certainly didn't make Mizuki feel any better. In fact, if anything, it was making him feel worse. Still, it wasn't like he had much of another option now, and so he leaned slightly against Saeki and continued to smile for added effect.
Yuuta stared for a moment at the scene before him before he realized what he was doing and tore his eyes away. God, he was jealous. There was no denying it; no matter how hard he tried to make himself feel bitter or angry at Mizuki for seemingly moving on so easily, he still just wished he were back in Saeki's place. But he'd thrown it all away though his own weakness, and now there was nothing he could do about it. Mizuki belonged to someone else, and Yuuta would have to pretend he was fine with that. "That's...great," he said. "Long time no see," he added, glancing at Saeki.
Saeki seemed to notice the unpleasantness coming from Yuuta's general direction and pulled Mizuki a little bit closer, giving a half-hearted greeting before pressing a kiss to Mizuki's cheek. "It's getting late, Hajime," he murmured into Mizuki's ear, and Mizuki nodded with a smile, glad for the opportunity to leave, to get away from everything he wanted and could never have, never again. "Well, see you later, Yuuta-kun, Kisazaru-kun, Yanagisawa-kun~" he called with a bit of a wave over his shoulder as he let Saeki lead him away, hoping to god another chance meeting like this wouldn't happen ever again.
Once Mizuki was out of sight, Yuuta put his head down on the table and groaned. "I fucked everything up..." he said, his words muffled by his arms. But he would just have to get over it, there was no other choice.
The following weekend, Yuuta decided he needed a break from it all. He needed a change of scenery, and he needed it badly enough that he would even face his brother, whom he'd managed to avoid since...well, since Syuusuke had gone and ruined everything. But Yuuta wouldn't be able to avoid him forever, so he figured now was as good a time as any. Maybe Yumiko had baked some more pies, he thought as he opened the door to his house and nervously walked inside.
Fuji heard the door slam, and managed to make it out of his room and to the bottom of the steps by the time Yuuta had his shoes off and was just stepping out of the doorway.
"Yuuta, it's so good to see you home~" he said with a smile, noting Yuuta's condition and deciding that the rumors about his break-up hadn't been exaggerated. "Yumiko-neesan just baked a pie, why don't you go put your things upstairs and I'll have a piece ready for you by the time you get back."
Yuuta nodded and walked past his brother without any further greeting. Seeing Syuusuke again brought back all the awful memories in full force, but instead of the guilt and heartache that Yuuta had felt when he saw Mizuki, anger began to bubble up inside of him. It was Syuusuke's fault that Yuuta was in this situation, he had been the one to rape Mizuki, and he was acting like nothing had ever happened. Not that Yuuta had expected anything different...
After he'd deposited his bag in his room, Yuuta went back downstairs and into the kitchen, which smelled deliciously of freshly baked raspberry pie. His complete indecision about how he should act towards his brother was ruining his appetite, though, and he sat sullenly at the kitchen table, resting his head on his hands.
Fuji made sure to cut Yuuta a nice big piece of pie (it was, after all, his favorite and Yuuta hadn't been home in a while) and a smaller piece for himself. However, when Yuuta returned he didn't touch it, he just sat at the table and looked sullen and upset.
Fuji had heard the rumors; he had heard all the rumors. He knew that Yuuta and Mizuki had broken up, and apparently Yuuta had done the breaking up and now Mizuki was off galavanting with anyone he could convince that he was worth the time. It appeared that the situation called for a large amount of repair, at the moment probably in the form of distraction to take Yuuta's mind off of current matters.
"So, Yuuta, I trust your training for next season is going well? I just went down to watch a practice the other day, and Kaidou-buchou's working Seigaku hard, so it appears you'll have your work cut out for you next year as well. But you've got a good team lined up, or so I've heard."
Yuuta had certainly been practicing hard, although it was a shame that he wouldn't have a chance to play Syuusuke in any of the tournaments next year. He couldn't bring himself to voice any of that, though. He was itching to tell his brother off in some way; it was driving him crazy how Syuusuke insisted on pretending that everything was normal. But old habits die hard, and besides, Yuuta was more than a little bit terrified of how Syuusuke might react, so he just nodded along and picked at his pie.
Yuuta wasn't reacting at all, and he still wasn't eating his pie, so Fuji decided that maybe tennis wasn't the right subject for conversation at the moment. "Kaasan and Tousan decided to visit the hot springs next weekend. They offered to bring all of us, but Yumiko and I told them to enjoy a weekend to themselves. Ryoma's been sending emails to all of us, and apparently Kevin Smith has been stalking him lately. Oh, there's news from back in Chiba, apparently Sae-chan's started dating someone, and Dabide's puns are as bad as ever." Fuji racked his brain for more totally unrelated news that could keep the conversation going.
"Yeah, I know who your Sae-chan is dating," Yuuta burst out without thinking. "He's dating Mizuki, who of course had to be so smug about it, and--" Now that the words had started, Yuuta couldn't seem to stop them as all the bitterness and hurt and anger flooded out of his mouth like a tidal wave. "And it's all your fault! I mean, it's my fault too, but you--you raped him, Aniki! You raped Mizuki-san..." Fuck, now he was going to cry. He didn't want to cry, he wanted to be strong, dammit. He wasn't going to be defeated by his brother anymore. "And I just went along with it, because I'm some kind of pervert or something, I don't know, and now he's dating Saeki and I can't do anything about it, and you're sitting there acting like nothing ever fucking happened!" Yuuta clenched his fists, breathing hard.
Fuji opened his eyes and stared; of all things, the one he hadn't been expecting was an outburst from Yuuta, and all those accusations he was making needed to be cleared up. Immediately.
And right now, as much as Fuji would have liked to do nothing more than comfort his brother, he knew the harsh route was the only way to effectively get his point across.
He narrowed his eyes. "Yuuta, you need to understand something. Everything I did to Mizuki that day, he had been asking for. He has been baiting me and challenging me ever since he took you from Seigaku, and it was just time for me to show him that I will always be too much for him to handle. Had I wanted to rape him, Yuuta, it would have been much, much more unpleasant." Fuji paused and considered where this needed to go. "Yuuta, I'm well aware that everyone knows I dislike Mizuki, and I'm also well aware that you like him much more than I approve of. But Yuuta, one thing that you have to realize is that you've said you want to stop living in my shadow, so now you have to stop basing everything you do on what I've done first."
Yuuta stared at his brother, his fists slowly unclenching. He wasn't really convinced that he shouldn't be angry--Syuusuke had hurt Mizuki in a horrible way, that much was clear--but that wasn't an argument Yuuta could have right now, he knew. But what was Syuusuke trying to say with that last statement? That Yuuta should stop thinking about what had happened? But Yuuta had broken up with Mizuki because of what he had done, not because of what Syuusuke had done...hadn't he? Now Yuuta was even more confused. He felt a little better now that he'd gotten his feelings out in the open, though, and it did sound like his brother was genuinely trying to help him, so he gathered his courage and said, "Are you talking about how I broke up with Mizuki-san? Because...well...I broke up with him because of what I did that day..." Although, now that he thought about it, what he had done that day was just follow along in his brother's shadow. "And anyway," he added, "He's dating Saeki now, so..." He shrugged.
"Oh Yuuta..." Fuji couldn't resist any longer, so he stood and walked to the other side of the table and pulled Yuuta out of his seat and into a tight embrace. "I'm so sorry that you've had to deal with so many things, and I shouldn't have gotten you involved with our stupid little fight." He pulled back a little bit, so that he could look directly into Yuuta's eyes. "Don't worry though, we'll get you through this, and as much as I hate to say it, you and Mizuki will get back together. Now," Fuji glanced pointedly at the table. "Neesan will kill you if you waste her pie, so you'd better eat that."
And Fuji was already planning what he needed to say when he went to visit Mizuki.
Yuuta relaxed into his brother's embrace, a few rebellious tears escaping and trickling down his face. He didn't really believe what Syuusuke was saying, since he was fairly sure Mizuki hated him now, either for letting Syuusuke attack him or for dumping him or both, but it felt nice to hear it nonetheless. "Thanks, Aniki," he said. "I...I forgive you." He would have to deal with his own mistakes--blaming his brother wouldn't do him any good, just like it was useless to try to emulate him in tennis. He wiped away his tears and nodded, sitting back down. "Yeah, I'd better eat it," he said, smiling slightly.
It was, in fact, a whole week before Mizuki got tired of Saeki and dumped him, and then, for a while, it was back to boys from around the school whose names Mizuki never even bothered to learn. He avoided Tokyo as much as possible after the run in with Yuuta, and, luckily, hadn't seen him since. It was a lot easier not to feel sorry for himself when he wasn't reminded of what he was missing, and at face value, without the emotional attachment, he was doing just as well now. He could have whatever boy he pleased for as long as he pleased, he was still doing just as well in school, and he found that he didn't really miss tennis very much at all. Without the aggravation that was losing, his life was so much less stressful, and he had more time to do whatever he pleased.
However, after another week and a half of constant one-nighters, Mizuki was bored with it already and decided to be on the lookout for a new boyfriend. Someone better, less whiny, less obsessed with Fuji Syuusuke, ideally. Having a boyfriend, after all, was just another manner of control now; if he could get someone big and strong and feared on the tennis circuit wrapped around his little finger, then that was all the more power to him, right?
At first, he had tried the Rikkai team, and was dismayed to find that every one of them was dating another member of the team. Outside of Saeki, no one on Rokkaku was even vaguely interesting, which meant that Mizuki had to branch back out into Tokyo. Obviously, Seigaku and St. Rudolph were out of the question, and the members of Fudomine were all a bit too self-righteous for Mizuki's tastes. The next obvious choice was Yamabuki, and that was how Mizuki found himself at a Yamabuki tennis club party late one Saturday night.
He had had his eyes on Sengoku first, because Sengoku was good at tennis and attractive and seemed fairly easy, and after Mizuki found out quite assuredly that the captain of the team was, in fact, seeing someone, he seemed like the obvious next choice. But as he had been eyeing Sengoku from a safe distance, Mizuki was startled when he felt someone grab his ass, and had spun on his heel in indignance when he realized who that hand had belonged to.
Now there was a thought that Mizuki hadn't pondered before. Sure, Akutsu was a delinquent and dangerous and it was questionable whether he was going to continue playing tennis at all, but the fact that most everyone who had any sense was at least slightly terrified of him was sort of appealing, in a way. Mizuki had never attempted to win over that sort of power before, and it might be fun to give it a try-- besides, it wasn't like this was a permanent commitment or something. So when Akutsu smirked down at him, Mizuki shifted his weight into one hip and batted his eyelashes right back.
He had to admit afterwards, he didn't think he had ever had sex quite so rough before in his entire life, but a little soreness and a few bite marks were hardly a deterrent when it came to Mizuki getting what he wanted. And sure, there was something a little tasteless about being called "baby" and having certain parts of his body touched in public, and Mizuki had never been a real fan of cigarette smoke, but it was all new and a challenge, and really, it wasn't like Mizuki had anyone better to be seeing. And so he spent his nights in seedy movie theatres and hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurants and didn't let it bother him. It was so far removed from his time at St. Rudolph, anyway, that, at the least, it didn't upset him because it didn't, even vaguely, remind him of what dating used to be.