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[Tenipuri] Fuji x Yuuta: Theme #09

Community: 30_angsts
Fandom: Tenipuri
Pairing: Fuji x Yuuta
Title: The Playground
Theme: #09; Hide and Seek
Rating: PG
Archived @ Master List
Summary: A not-so-entirely-by-chance encounter.


Theme #09: Hide and Seek
"The Playground"


He had stumbled upon that playground by a complete accident.

Just a few days ago, Saeki had called up Kikumaru for a rematch as payback for the Kantou Regional and Kikumaru had insisted that Fuji came along too. Naturally, Fuji, being the good friend that he was, agreed. Five hours later, once he realized that Saeki and Kikumaru's match would continue into the fifth set (they had long abandoned the one-set system when playing street tennis), he would be running to catch the last bullet train from Chiba back to Tokyo. It was en route to the station did he remember an old shortcut he and Yuuta used to take whenever they used to visit Saeki together; it was en route through the shortcut did he realize why he had avoided this path in the first place.

This playground, once his old stomping grounds, had eroded away to a mere shell of its former self. The wood used to construct it in the first place was of low-quality and, unlike the new plastic playgrounds, was guaranteed to only last a maximum of ten years. Now, it was completely abandoned, for no self-respecting child would ever think of coming near this place, and it was only a matter of time before the city took action to build over it. Even so, this rundown old place would forever hold most, if not all the happiest memories of his childhood.

Yumiko, back when she was reluctant to spend her time watching her two younger brothers, used to drop him and Yuuta off at this place with explicate instructions not leave the place unless their lives depended on it, to not talk to or take anything from anyone, and "Syuusuke, keep an eye on Yuuta. Yuuta, don't leave Syuusuke's side". The two of them (or rather, just Yuuta), being the sweet darling little four and five-year-olds that they were, had obeyed her commands with absolute fear of death.

As a result, the two of them spent most their summer afternoons playing in this very park. Sometimes, Saeki would join them, but at that age, he already discovered the magic of Super Nintendo and was reluctant to leave the sanctuary of his room where the temperature was much more agreeable. It never occurred to Yuuta to ask Yumiko if they could stay at Saeki's instead.

And so it was on this playground that he taught Yuuta the bare knowledge of being a kid- tag, how to swing, the techniques of how not to get run over when trying to get on a merry-go-round, and more. Their favorite, however, had always remained the same: hide and seek. For Yuuta, it was the guilty thrill of disobeying his sister's orders. For himself... well, he wasn't sure now. But he was certain it had something to do with the whole hunter-prey concept.

It'd always go the same way. Yuuta hid while he counted, Yuuta was horrible at hiding and he would always be found before the allotted 10 minutes. The routine never changed, not once in the whole two years. And Fuji was always the seeker, no questions asked.

There was a spot beneath the giant penguin Yuuta was particularly fond of. Whenever Fuji was sure he wasn't elsewhere (or whenever he saw Yuuta's shadow peeking from the hollow cavern), he would always wait until time was about to run out before going to get his little brother. Then, they'd race to the swings before beginning another round. They never stopped playing that game, not even on the rare days Saeki's mother kicked him out of the house.

The thought had not crossed his mind until now... but he wondered if Yuuta remembered this place.

"Aniki?"

Startled, he glanced toward the direction of the voice. "Yuuta? What are you doing here?"

"Oh, Atsushi wanted to visit his brother while we still had an extra day off for Good Friday." An uncomfortable shift. "And I remembered that I- we used to come here a lot."

"Ah."

Silence reigned until Yanagisawa's loud bray broke through the trees to call Yuuta back, and he departed with a slight wave and a mumbled goodbye, which Fuji returned. Then, a few more moments later, Fuji finally turned to resume his way to the train station- by now, it would be too late to catch the bullet, so he'd have to settle with the regular train. Not that a few extra minutes mattered, it was worth the sacrifice to see that park for that one last time. By the time he came back, it'd probably be gone.

Back then, everything was always so predictable. Nothing was ever out of the ordinary and even Yumiko, irresponsible babysitter that she was, would always arrive on time to take them home. Somewhere around the time they moved, everything changed. Rather, everything changed when tennis became their new Hide and Seek. In tennis, Yuuta was the seeker, but Fuji was still waiting to be found.

Maybe, just maybe, if he tilted his head and listened hard enough... maybe the sound of that carefree laughter could once again grace his ears. Even for a moment, just that moment.. maybe he could remember what it felt like when Yuuta used to call him 'nii-chan'.

O . W . A . R . I