Pairing: Pillar Pair (Tezuka Kunimitsu x Echizen Ryoma)
Author's Note: For clinck's TezRyo Revival!
Ryoma finds out even before he's back in Japan, and, at first, he's furious. Sure, he and Tezuka have always communicated almost entirely non-verbally in past, but studying abroad in Germany-- how could he be expected to know that, especially when they currently weren't even in the same country?! Ryoma's been waiting all year, practically, to see Tezuka again, because, sure, he's missed Japan, and sure, he's missed Seigaku, and sure, he's missed the old Regulars, but it's Tezuka he's really been thinking about, Tezuka he really wants to see. He hasn't been considering why, really, didn't think he had to, because they'd have time for that sort of thing when Ryoma got back, time to make decisions, commitments, time to fall--
But no, they haven't time, haven't hardly any time at all, and when the momentary anger fades away, it's despair that comes in its place. Because as much as Ryoma's not been thinking about it, as much as he's been avoiding any decisive conclusion, he's more sure now than he's ever been: he's in love with Tezuka, and now Tezuka is leaving him.
He pumps as much information out of Fuji in phone emails as he possibly can, but Fuji, despite having dropped the bomb on him in the first place, is vague and enigmatic in his responses, and so, when Ryoma finally gets to frustrated to continue with the puzzle pieces he's not even sure are from the same box, he tries Oishi instead. Oishi in, stark contrast to Fuji, is too easy to read; he's nervous but obviously concerned, and though he's reluctant to tell some of the details, Ryoma managed to get them out of him, and can tell only too well when he's wrung him dry. But no matter, because he's gotten what he was looking for: Tezuka will spend the year in Germany, and will be leaving Japan the day after Ryoma returns.
He's not sure if it's freak coincidence, if there really is a god, or if Fuji has been pulling strings again, but either way, Ryoma has never been more relieved in his life. The days before his return, he has fitful nightmares of delayed flights and plane crashes, but his return trip to Japan is generally without hitch, and as soon as he's back home, he dumps all his things and sets out into the evening before his parents can even realize he's gone.
Ryoma's heart beats in his throat as he knocks and he realizes desperately that he has no idea what he's going to say, but he doesn't have much time to plan, because Tezuka answers the door after only a moment's wait. He looks genuinely surprised by Ryoma's appearance, and for a moment, they just look at one another, and it's at times like these that Ryoma wishes the non-verbal communication worked a little better, because he wishes so badly he knew what Tezuka was saying, and he needs to say something himself, and time is running out--
Tezuka opens his mouth to speak, but before any words come out, Ryoma does what seems right: he stands up on his toes and kisses Tezuka. His heart is pounding in his throat, but before he can worry, he hears the door close, and Tezuka's arms circle around his waist, nearly lifting him clear off his feet. And when they break, it's for air rather than out of any desire to be apart and their lips still brush as Tezuka whispers to him, "It's only for a year."
"It's for a whole year," Ryoma replies, a pout dancing across his features, and he's far too much himself for the moment.
"But you'll wait...?" Tezuka says in response, only it wavers, it's a question, and Ryoma knows it's rare to see Tezuka looking insecure and feels honored, somehow, even now.
"Do you even have to ask," he inquires back, only it's not a question at all, and Tezuka kisses him again, and Ryoma decides that this, this is the best kind of communication of all.